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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A Maverick Year, or my book comes out tomorrow, but I’m writing about something else entirely.

I’m pretty sure that on the day before your book comes out you’re not supposed to be blogging about a work-in-progress, but I’m having what I like to call a maverick year over here, so I’ll just do what I want.

(A maverick year, for the record, means I have blogged once in a year’s time. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.)

I was in Portland, Maine, this weekend, for about 24 hours. Unremarkable, really, since I live about two hours from Portland, and have dear friends there who feed me and let me sleep in their house. These same friends own Rising Tide Brewing Company, which is the relevant (and remarkable–because how awesome is that?) part.

I’ve probably mentioned this before, but some years ago on a similar visit to Portland, it was suggested to me by someone that brewing wasn’t sexy in the romance novel kind of way. I like gauntlets, so I pick up the shiny ones and take them home to mull over. Sometimes, shiny gauntlets get turned over so often, they end up resembling drafts of novels about a brewer and an actress, and they are set in Portland.

Now I find myself, on the eve of SWEET PEASE’s publication, pondering a delicious Pilsner I tasted over the weekend, one I completely coincidentally named my story after. Or one they completely coincidentally named after my yet-to-be published book. Either way.

I can’t wait to hear what everyone thinks of my return to Thornton and Kate Pease, but know that I’ve been hard at work on book three there, and this new thing, too.

I hope y’all are ready for more words, because I’m ready to give them to you.

And if you haven’t already: Click the image below to get your copy (print or Kindle!) of Sweet Pease, available Tuesday, November 14, 2017.

 

Sneaky Peeks

You know that feeling that you’ve run out of things to share?

No? Just me, then?

I’ve got some irons in the writerly fire, but they’re still pretty far from Kindles and bookshelves. I want to share, to invite you all in for a peek at the process, but it gets trickier the longer I’m in this to figure out if I should share early draft work, or just keep it all close until it’s ready go. Performance anxiety, I suppose.

Anyway, my friend Renee at Elsetime & Otherwhen has done that thing where she tagged people to share a specific bit of random draft-in-progress, and because she is Renee, I shall comply. And as penance, because I won’t be tagging anyone else (lazy, lazy, me)…

Bonus! Below are seven lines (give or take – my Scrivener files aren’t set up in pages or lines) from the seventh pages of both my current drafts.

…from Sweet Pease:

[Anneliese] blinked. “Is that a new Reed Sharpe novel? I don’t read him, but my h— my ex-husband did. Your books are more my type. I read The Orchard Gate when I was in the hospital after Chloe was born, and the nurses recommended a therapist because I was always crying. I finally gave them my copy to convince them.”

Ewan poured milk into his coffee, his eyes flicking nervously from the billows of dairy to Anneliese’s blue eyes as she spoke.

“And I’m babbling. I’m so sorry,” she finished with a small laugh.

The little girl — Chloe — clutched a strip of toast and peered into his face from across the table. “Did you bring the blue ox baby?”

He smiled in spite of himself. She was a beautiful child, and funny, especially since she didn’t know it yet. “No, Chloe. Babe stayed in New York for the semester.”

…and from Back Cove:

[Jessica’s] bungalow at the Fairmont Miramar was draining her savings at an alarming rate, but Jessica had needed a place to land after New Mexico and she was certain Cort wouldn’t be inviting her back after the Beverly Hills party and the incident with the Maserati in his swimming pool.

She stopped at the concierge’s desk on her way through the lobby. Peering out from under a pair of huge sunglasses and a faded Portland Seadogs cap, she pitched her voice deliberately high. “Any messages?”

The concierge caught her eye knowingly and produced two envelopes. “This arrived today, Miss Granger.”

I can make no hard promises about release dates, but I am eternally optimistic for early 2016 for at least one of them. While you’re waiting, though, don’t forget to pick up your free copy of Damselfly Inn!

Dinner with Aunt Barrie

“The work upstairs?” Barrie paused mid-forkful. “Matt Bailey did that.”

Jessica felt like Barrie was testing her, daring her to ask who Matt Bailey was. “I’ll bite. Who’s Matt Bailey?”

“The young man who’s leased your Uncle Rand’s building.” Barrie chewed and swallowed her meatloaf. “He started a brewery there.” Her watery green eyes sparkled.

“Matt Bailey: Brewer and Carpenter. Does he do loaves and fishes, too?” Jessica heard the snark in her tone and cringed inwardly.

Barrie didn’t seem to notice. “He’s very kind. I was renting the loft to him until I invited you to stay, sweetie. He’s been taking care of the house and the lawn for me for about six months now.”

“You had some guy just living here?” She sounded shrill.

“Jessica Lynn Landry.” Barrie set her fork down on her plate with a loud clink. “I will not be spoken to in that tone.”

Jessica felt her face slip into the defiant glare she’d worn through her teenage years. Then she saw mirth rise in Barrie’s eyes. Jessica’s cheeks flushed deep scarlet. “I’m sorry.”

Barrie resumed her meal. “I know, Jessie. You’re just looking out for me, but I need to you to remember I’ve been on my own now for a while, and I like to think that after eighty-seven years on the planet, I’ve got a handle on judging character.”

“I was out of line, Aunt Barrie.”

“You were, but I love you too much to let a little thing like sass over meatloaf get in the way.” She scraped her last forkful through a smear of piccalillli. “Maybe I’ll have Matthew around for dinner one of these nights, and you can see for yourself he’s not an axe murderer.”

 

Write On Edge: Red-Writing-HoodEven if you’re not participating in NaNoWriMo, there’s something special about something new. You have 300 words this week to write about something new: a new character, the beginning of a new story, a new pair of shoes. Your piece can be fiction or creative non-fiction.

I am doing NaNoWriMo, and this is a short excerpt from the early pages.

If you haven’t picked up a copy of Buck’s Landing, the first in this connected series of romances, this is the week to do it. I’m donating a portion of the proceeds from all sales to benefit a family rebuilding their savings and adoption fund. Recent political developments in Washington are the first step, but my friends have a long road ahead to truly hold equality in their hands.