An Every Day Love Story Moment: Buck’s Landing

Do you ever wonder what happens to characters after you close the book? Do you wish you could just peek into their lives down the road a few years and see what happily ever after looks like?

Me, too. Writing a series like Thornton, that follows friends and siblings, those moments happen organically. Of course you’re going to see some of Joss and Nan’s ever-after while Kate’s navigating her own tricky journey to forever love, and Anneliese’s heart, despite her best efforts, is right there on her sleeve.

I write that way because I like to read that way, but what about characters who aren’t part of a continuing narrative? Today, I’m giving you a little peek into Sofia and Silas’s life after Buck’s Landing. I hope you enjoy!

Buck’s Landing: A New England Seacoast Romance
An Every Day Love Story Moment

Sofia put the finishing touch on an elaborate bow. The package was done up in silver-foil paper and an explosion of pink curling ribbon.

“Too much?” Sofia picked the box up and tilted it for Silas.

He put his coffee down and peered over the top of his laptop. “For Judy? It’s perfect.”

She put it down, simultaneously picking up the cat who leapt on soft paws to investigate the trailing ends of the ribbon. “No, cat.”

Houdini complained when she set him on the floor–a string of grumbling mews–then wound his feline self around the sofa feet and plopped his butt down to groom the inside of one hind leg. Silas chuckled. “Classy.”

Sofia moved Judy’s present to the bookshelf by the door. Ultimately, if Houdini wanted it, he’d get it, but she didn’t need to make it easy for him.

“The gift, though?” Inside the box were two tickets to Athens with transfers to Santorini, and a seven-day reservation for the DeVarona that included breakfasts and a champagne and truffle welcome basket. She’d coordinated the timing with Judy’s husband, calling in a few professional favors from her former employers, but even Chris Dunaway didn’t know the full extent of their anniversary gift.

“It’s an amazing gift. As long as Judy doesn’t hyperventilate, you’re all set.” Silas closed his computer and met her by the window that overlooked the beach. Road crews were cleaning up the last of a recent late-season Nor’easter’s damage. “Half the beach ended up on Ocean Boulevard.”

“As long as it’s cleaned up by the end of the month. We’ve got your building all booked up starting the first week after school lets out.”

“I was just confirming the second unit for the last week of the summer.” He slipped his arms around her waist. “And we got three applications for the snack bar.”

She stretched herself against him, whispering against his lips. “I love it when you talk dirty.”

His hands wandered to her hips, and she kissed him–slow and sweet–before pulling away. “We have to leave in five minutes.”

He tugged her in close. “I can be quick.”

“Mmm.” She let the wave of lust wash down her spine. “Later. And not quick. Now, get the keys.”

She let Silas drive, sinking into the buttery upholstery as the engine purred to life, maybe a little less silky a purr than it once had. Her car was getting old. Five years of coastal living had been tough on her beloved BMW.

“Are you sure you’re okay with having the kids for a week?” Judy’s brood were all good kids, but three extra people in their apartment–even with the remodel that had merged the third and second floors and added two bedrooms–was a new adventure for both of them.

Silas reached over to press a gentle hand against her still-flat belly, sneaking a glance at her while he maneuvered the car down a side street. “Good practice.”

The new smile–the one that she’d only learned she had when the pink plus sign had come up on the home test two months before–curved her lips. “Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.”

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I Just Named My Muse ‘Karen’

Inspiration is a tricky beast.

Last week, I shared this Tumbler meme on my Facebook page:

I was kidding. Mostly. Then Friday morning I realized the submission deadline for the Word Count Podcast was coming up hard. I stared at the prompt photo for a bit, completely devoid of ideas, and then BOOM! Inspiration by way of Tumbler meme. What if there was a time agency of some sort that had a costume designer and there was something about an ice-locked ship…

What came out in the end was a little bit of both, and a bunch of something else entirely, but it was super fun to write and record.

You can find the listen link for the ‘cast on R.B. Wood’s site.

I went in to tell my reader group about the finished podcast, and started rambling away. By then end of the post, I’d likened my muse to Karen from Will&Grace.

“Always around, seldom intentionally helpful, a little drunk, lovable and a little mean.”

If you need us, Karen and I will be over here working on the third book in Thornton series. In the meantime, Sweet Pease is free for a limited time, so if you haven’t grabbed it, don’t delay!

A Book By A New Cover

It’s been a crazy month, punctuated by nor’easters that closed school and threw our family routine into a tailspin, but that’s meant more time to work on the writing. Always a silver lining!

And to give an old story a facelift. Buck’s Landing is almost six, can you believe it? To celebrate, I have a new cover, and a snappier blurb.

Sofia Buck fled Hampton Beach a decade ago, never looking back until her father’s untimely death forces her to return for the summer to deal with the family business. Her one goal: sell Buck’s Landing, so she can move on with her life.

Silas Wilde believes in serendipity, especially when it brings an irresistible woman into his life. He’s certain they belong together, and sets out to convince Sofia to give him—and Hampton—a chance at forever.

Rediscovering the magic of her hometown with Silas tempts Sofia with a future she never imagined, if only she can let go of the past that waits around every corner.

If you haven’t read it, you should. It’s pretty good.

In other news, you can now follow me on Bookbub, and I’ve got a little Facebook group thing going. I’d love to see you around.

Spicy Red Lentil Soup: A Recipe from the Damselfly Inn

Something a little hot just for you!

A few fictional years  have passed since Nan Grady was feeding her friends at the Damselfly Inn, but she’s still very much a voice in my head. Married now, and going by Nan Fuller, and still feeding her friends. I imagine them gathered around the big farm table in her kitchen, guests out enjoying the art museum or a play at the college, or warming up by the fire in the parlor. It’s cold and snowy outside. The pastures are white; the Fuller herd is in the barns. The sun goes down early, so the sky outside is dark, but the lights are burning bright in the yellow Victorian on County Road, and soup is on the menu.

Nan likes easy comfort food, but with a little something spicy and unexpected, so this recipe is one I can easily see her making. Pull up a seat at her table, and enjoy!

  • 2 T. coconut oil (olive is fine, too)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • fresh grated ginger to taste (I used a couple of tablespoons)*
  • 1 T. Thai red curry paste*
  • 2 T. Vietnamese chili garlic sauce (Tuong Ot Toi)*
  • 1 t. salt
  • 2 T.  finely chopped garlic*
  • 1/2 t. crushed red pepper flakes*
  • 2 tsp whole cumin seeds*
  • 3/4 tsp ground coriander*
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric*
  • 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes, do not drain
  • 4 c. vegetable or chicken stock/broth
  • 1 c. red lentils
  • good pinch of saffron threads*
  • chopped fresh cilantro (if you’re into that)
  • plain greek yogurt, sour cream, or crème fraîche

Heat the coconut oil over medium heat, then sauté the onions until they are softened and translucent, but not browned. Add everything from the ginger to the turmeric and sauté for a minute. Dump in the tomatoes, broth, and lentils. Give it a stir, then add the saffron threads. Simmer for about 15 minutes. If you like, you can immersion blend it at the end for smoothness, but it’s not necessary.

Serve topped with cilantro and yogurt (or other dairy). Yum!

*Basically, adjust all the flavors to suit what you like.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, Damselfly Inn is FREE for a limited time at Amazon, and you can pick up Buck’s Landing for just 99¢!

Cinnamon Girl: A Thornton Vermont Christmas Romance: Cinnamon Girl: A Thornton Vermont Christmas Story, Finale

Continued from part 13, or you can start from the beginning.

“Wait,” Molly said. “This is the thing I’ve dreamt about for a year and a half, and when I realized it was coming true, I cried.”

He started to speak, but she hushed him.

“My first thought was, ‘It’s too soon.’” She shifted to be closer to him. “I cried because I didn’t want… I don’t want to fly off and leave you. Not now when you’re still hurting, not now while we’re figuring this out. And there you were on my doorstep, and I had this crazy thought that I would cash it all in and stay here.”

He shook his head. “No—“

“I know,” she rushed on. “All those talks we had, all the time we’ve spent together this last month, and I’ve never even mentioned it… Have you ever had a dream so big you can’t tell the one person you feel like you really should? Like, if you give it words, it’ll fall apart?”

Oh, Molly… “Yeah.”

“I know we only met a month ago, and I know it’s selfish to ask you to wait until spring for me, but will you? Will you still be here in March when I get back?”

The blood was singing in his veins. Relief washed through him. “I’m not going anywhere.”

She launched herself into his arms, kissing him hard. She leaned back breathlessly. “Come on, let’s go introduce you to my folks. And Eddie.” She grimaced. “I’m sorry in advance about Eddie.”

He followed her back across the lawn, through the hedges, and across her yard. Introductions were a blur, and he found himself with a cup of coffee and a slice of pie, sitting in the Sanders’ living room while Molly’s family scattered to their own corners of the house.

She handed him a box from under the Christmas tree, wrapped and ribboned. “It’s not as nice as your present.”

Walt opened the box to find a pair of boiled wool slippers in a size far too small for his feet. When he looked up questioningly at Molly, she was grinning.

“House shoes for me to keep at the farm. Those floors get cold in the winters.”

He set the box next to him, and got up to cross the room to her. “That’s the most romantic thing anyone’s ever given me.”

Molly stood, wrapping her arms around him, close enough that she had to tilt her face up to look at him. “I’m going to have to work on that between now and when I go.”

“Merry Christmas, Molly.”

She touched her lips to his. “Merry Christmas, Walt.”