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Friday, March 9, 2012

Sweet Saturday Sample of "Now and Forever 1, a Love Story"

Thank you for stopping by. Today's snippet reveals Callie's growing attraction to Mac Caldwell, Dean of Students at Kensington State University. Shy Callie Richards finds she can't resist him.
Dean's office at Kensington State

While Callie refused to admit to herself how much she was attracted to Mac, she spent more
time applying makeup, doing her hair and dressing before she went to work. Though she tried to rationalize it as professionalism, she knew she was drawn to this warm, handsome, smart man.
She wanted to be close to him and couldn't resist finding a reason to be in the file room when he was there. Once she actually bumped into him, by accident. He put an arm around her to keep her from falling and she thought it was heavenly.
Eliza and Mac seem very friendly. Callie couldn't tell if they had worked together for a long time or if they were dating. She reminded herself it was no concern of hers. Still, she found herself watching Mac. She liked the way his suit jacket pulled slightly across his broad shoulders and the way his arms looked when he rolled up his sleeves on warm days. She felt heat from him, always conscious of his presence, sensing he was there, even if her back was turned. A little chill went up her spine when he came up behind her.

I'd like to share a recent review for Now and Forever 1, a Love Story:
Bittersweet tale March 8, 2012
At the very beginning, the heart of this book exudes a sort of melancholy feeling. Callie is dealing with the grief from the death of her fiance. We learn a lot about her childhood and the things that she had to go through as she was growing up. Her childhood was not an easy or happy one. Consequently, it seemed and felt to her like Kyle was all she had. When he died, she was devastated. In the midst of the grief, she has decided that it's time to move on with her life, but she still has trouble letting go of Kyle.

Callie is a quiet girl that stays to herself. She is believable in her grief and the way she relives things, not wanting to let them go and afraid she will forget. I enjoyed her as a character, as I did most of the characters from this book. Mac is just trying to deal with his life, not really looking to get involved with anyone. The fact that it is a relationship that is not sought out by either party seems to make the feelings more real.

The biggest problem I had with this book is only that the author did such a fantastic job of making Kyle such a great guy, to make him worthy of the level of grief Callie was feeling even after such a long time (I'm assuming), that by the time I met Mac I didn't care about him. I wanted Kyle! Even after a few chapters of Callie and Mac, and even rooting for them to get together on one level, I found myself still hoping that the military made a mistake and Kyle would come walking in. I will say that Callie's relationship with Mac was probably healthier. She had grown and matured a little more by the time she got involved with him, so he wasn't her entire life the way Kyle was. She was more her own person by this time, with her own identity.

The different things that are dealt with in this book are portrayed very well and realistically. The levels of grief, trying to move on without forgetting, becoming your own, independent person apart from the grief and the person that you are grieving are all a part of the story, but not overwhelmingly so. I loved the box of Kyle's things that Callie keeps, and Mac's reaction to it when he finds it. I could see myself doing something like that in Callie's place.

A very bittersweet love story that will take you through the whole spectrum of emotions. I found myself proud of Callie by the end, as though she was a friend I knew, rather than a character in a book. This is a great read - another win for Ms. Joachim.

Available in PAPERBACK too!

Thursday, March 8, 2012


 I am pleased to welcome the talented writer, Pat Hernandez today. Pat writes under several different pen names, one for each personality!  A Caribbean Summer, her book written as Tricia Lee is one of my favorite contemporary romances because there is a mystery along with a sexy hero and great writing.

Have a cup of coffee or tea, Pat, and a cranberry scone and tell me about yourself.

  1)     How old were you when you knew you wanted to become a writer?  I’m not sure of the actual age but I was very young. My mother read to my little brother and me and I began to create imaginary worlds of my own, which later translated into stories.
  2)     What did you do for a living in your “previous” life? After I graduated from college I taught Spanish in Las Vegas, Nevada. After teaching private English classes in Mexico City for a while, I moved to Laredo, Texas where I worked for Sears, working my way up to personnel and payroll clerk. After three years, I transferred to Sears in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico as a training coordinator for four years. I transferred to Midwest City, Oklahoma where I was assistant manager of the paint department for my last two years with Sears. Then I returned to teaching Spanish plus art and ESL in Texas for about 21 years.
3)     Do you have a family? I have a son and five grandchildren.
4)     What do your closest relatives thinking of your writing career? They are very supportive.
5)     What genre do you write? Contemporary romance and wacky, off-the-wall mysteries.
6)     Are you a plotter or a pantser? Both. Sometimes I write an outline and follow it. Other times, especially for the romance novels, I let the characters lead me although I know the ending, it’s the journey that thrills me.
 7)     Do your characters ever take over when you’re writing? Oh, definitely.
8)     Do you get inspiration from real people or places? Yes, especially from my time in the Caribbean. My Palmaltas website is a fictional island in the Caribbean.
9)     Have you ever gotten a story idea from a news story? No, I haven’t.
10) Would you like to be any of your heroines? I think, to a certain degree, I am most of my heroines.
11) Would you marry any of your heroes? Definitely!
12) Do you do a lot of editing before you submit a manuscript? Yes, yes, yes! And then have others go over it again for me.
Now some personal questions (please feel free to elaborate) :
1)     Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate
2)     Do you listen to music when you write? No
3)     Favorite color? For clothes--black
4)     Black, white or gray? Black ;)
5)     Favorite ice cream flavor? Turtle
6)     Favorite line of description from one of your books.  From Amorous Ambush by my alter ego, Tricia Lee: Her last word conveyed such a cry for help, a desperate cry of hopelessness that he knew he couldn’t refuse this vision of terrified loveliness.

       7)  Favorite dialogue from one of your books. From A Colorado Destiny (I have lots of favorites so I just plucked one at random): 
“Oh, Blake, I don’t know what I would have done without your good sportsmanship,” she said, handing him a beer. There was nothing like looking at his flexing muscles while he followed her instructions on where to put various pieces of furniture.
“What do you mean by that?” he said, gasping for breath.
“You’re such a good sport to try out positions for the sofa and the chair.”
“Hmm, is that so? I can think of a position for you on this sofa.”
She felt herself turning red at what he was implying. “Is that so?” she said, imitating him.
“Yeah, I could grab you and turn you upside down and give you a few swats for driving me like a common laborer.”
“Well!” she exclaimed with pretended indignation. “What kind of gratitude is that?” But her body heat was rising just at the thought of him grabbing her and playfully manhandling her.
“Gratitude? Are you insane? You’re the one who should be grateful.”
She laughed. “Oh, I am, believe me, I am. In more ways than one.”
      8)  Favorite minor character from your book.  “Johnny” from A Caribbean Summer
9)     Dog or cat? We have both so I can’t choose
10) Country or city? I have lived in both and prefer the city.
11) Beach or mountains? Beach, beach, beach!!!!
12) Skirts or pants? Pants
13) Early morning or late night? Early morning
14) Cruise in the Caribbean or camping in Yellowstone National Park? Silly question—a cruise in the Caribbean.

To read more about Pat's books and find buy links click HERE to go to her website. 

Monday, March 5, 2012


Thank you so much for stopping by. This scene between Jim and Sarah takes place on a rare night when they go out on a date. Jim takes her into town to the chicest restaurant in Willow Falls, Bon Appetit, where he knows the proprietor, Don, and his wife, Sunny.

 "The Renovated Heart"
“Hey, Jim. Long time, no see,” Don said, drying glasses behind the bar.
“Hi, Don. This is Sarah Morgan, Sarah, Don Rosen.”
“Your taste is improving, Jim,” Don said.
“Thanks,” Jim said, red rising up his neck, “can we get a table?”
“Sure, sure. Sunny!” he called.
“How many women have you brought here?” Sarah asked.
“Just a couple…I guess.” A flush stole up his neck showing slightly above the collar of his shirt.
Sunny came forward with two menus under her arm and a big smile. She motioned them to a small table in a corner. Sunny nodded to Jim, thinking Sarah couldn’t see, but she did see and blushed.
“Who are these people, your relatives?” Sarah whispered to Jim.
“Just friends…friends who were with me through hard times,” he said, laughing.
“You had hard times?”
“Losing Nancy was the worst.”
“Sorry, yes, of course.”
“It didn’t stop there…” he admitted.
“What else happened?”
“I had an engagement that…that…didn’t work out.”
“Did you break up with her?”
“She left me for someone else,” he said, lowering his gaze to his hands.
“She must have been stupid,” Sarah blurted out. Jim took her hand.
“What’s good to eat here? I’m starving.” Sarah removed her hand from his and opened the menu.
Drinks arrived, food orders were place and Jim and Sarah were deep in conversation about writing.
“How do you find the time to write with teaching and running the English department?”
“I have time…too much time. This might not be a problem if I had a beautiful woman…like you in my life.”  Jim laced his fingers and rested his hands on the table.
“Well, then, I wouldn’t want to interfere with your career.”
“Interfere, please, it would be a pleasure.” Jim took her hand in both of his and turned it over. His thumb traced a small scar on her palm.
“Where’d you get this?”
“Knife…in the kitchen, chopping.” Sarah tried to ease her hand away but he held on to it.
“Looks like what they call on TV a ‘defensive wound’.” He bent his head to place a soft kiss on the one-inch scar then released her hand.
 This will be my last post using The Renovated Heart as it has been contracted by Secret Cravings and will soon be a published work. Next week I will be starting a new WIP, based on the story that began as my picture prompt.  
Find more info about my books on my website.