If you're like me, you're probably still trying to figure out how we got to this point. Because we're better than this, aren't we? Smarter, more tech savvy? This is what makes me believe what we learn from this experience will only make us better.
And this is the extent of what I'm going to say on the subject. Instead I'll try to fill you in on what's been going on here in my life.
This is when I'm glad I am an artist and an author. I don't mind being 'holed up' in my house. As long as I have my computer and a room full of art supplies, I will be fine.
Working on my ornaments is out. I'm certainly not in the right frame of mind to come up with any type of festive-Christmasy kind of designs. And as I've found in the past, this is way too early to start painting. Nope, I work better under pressure.
So... I've been working on Book 7. For about a month it was slow going (too much on my mind about you-know-what) but now I've finally passed the halfway point in the book and everything is beginning to come together. From past experience, I've found this is when the characters personalities really start to take on a life of their own. This also means what I thought I was going to write isn't necessarily what will happen. Instead, what ends up on paper becomes almost more of a surprise.
But of course, whatever the MC's get into, this usually on the line of screwing up their lives, everything gets worked out and the ending is - yeah, you know this one - always a happy one.
If you've read the first 6 books of the series, you've probably already figured out I'm a baseball fan. Yes, I am one of the loyal Cleveland Indian's fans who begins every season with my fingers crossed and a wildly optimistic hope this will be the year our team finally wins the World Series. So, the delay of the season has been hard to take. But... I keep telling myself, baseball will prevail.
If you think back, you'll remember, it was also baseball that brought everyone together after 9-11. Hopefully, this will hold true, now.
Very, very soon...
In Book 2, For the Love of July, baseball is a good part of the story. In fact, I like to think of this book as the first real beginning of the series. Kevin ( one of the MC's in For the Love of July) is briefly introduced in Book 1, A Million Decembers. He then gets drafted to play for the professional baseball team in Cleveland. From this book on, the series stays for the most part in the city of Cleveland.
This doesn't mean you shouldn't read A Million Decembers. Oh no, of course not. I assure you, it is a wonderful love story on it's own. But at the time I wrote it, overwhelmed by the fact I had even written a book, I had no intention of writing a series.
And here we are, almost 7 books later.
Back to baseball... right now it should really be baseball season and I'm sure there are a good number of you out there who miss the games as much as I do. So, I've decided to offer the ebook version of For the Love of July for only $1.99. Imagine... for almost nothing, you can read a story about a little of both, baseball and romance. It may be just what you've been missing.
I also have a pretty good feeling when you come to the end of this book, you'll want more. February's Angel, Promise Me November, An Unexpected June and A January to Remember, to name a few... And even though each book is a whole new love story, as the series continues you'll find you haven't had to leave your favorites behind. With this close circle of friends, you'll never know when they'll show up again.
This spectacular deal will be available until Tuesday, May 5th.
Just to get you started, is a little peek at an excerpt from For the Love of July:
Kevin moved even closer to Abby.
Filled with such an overwhelming urge to touch her, he ran the back of his hand gently down her cheek. When she trembled at his touch, he found he had to close his eyes.
He moved even closer, a huskiness in his voice.
What I mean is… I’ve missed you.
She closed her eyes.
I missed you, too… so much.
They both started to speak at the same time, only to stop and smile at each other. He spoke first. “So, how do you feel?”
Suddenly unable to handle the tenderness in his gaze, she shrugged. “Okay, I guess. I’ve definitely felt better.” She shuddered. “I know I never want to drink another glass of wine. At least not for a long, long time.”
He chuckled. “This seems to be the overwhelming consensus when a person drinks a little bit more than they should’ve. After all, a bottle of wine is meant to be shared.” He stopped to smile at her. “But we’ve all been there. I, for one, can attest to this, sugar.”
He was suddenly reminded of what she had said to him, the words cutting almost as deep as when he first heard them.
And don’t call me sugar. You don’t have that right any more.
A stricken look crossed his face. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean…”
She swiftly cut him off, her hands fluttering towards him. But, feeling unsure, she pressed them back to her sides.
“No, no. It’s okay. It is. I never meant it, I didn’t.”
He could call her whatever he wanted to call her. She didn’t care. She just wanted him with her.
He smiled, the relief so transparent in his eyes she had to quickly look away, wishing there was some way she could make those words disappear forever.
If only you could do this. Make it all go away, every single word.
Her gaze came back to search his face. “I don’t remember a lot about last night and I’m afraid I may have done something or said something I shouldn’t have.”
A sad smile flitted across her face. “Both of which I’ve done quite a bit of lately, wine or no wine.”
Feeling the heat rising in her cheeks, she looked down at her hands. “So, whatever happened, whatever I might have said, I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean any of it.”
His finger gently lifting her chin to meet his gaze, she was surprised to see he was smiling. “Well… I must say I’m a little disappointed to hear this, since I rather enjoyed what you had to say. In fact, it gave me hope, something I was so desperately looking for.”
When he saw her eyes begin to fill, he had to close his. He didn’t think he could handle her tears right now.
God, no, if she starts crying, you’re going to start bawling right along with her.
At the sound of voices, he was almost relieved to see Alex, Lisa and Chloe come back into the kitchen.
Chloe came running over to them. “We put one box in your car. Daddy said we had to so you don’t look bad.”
She put her hands on her hips and with an adorable toss of her head to send her curls flying around her face, she grinned at Kevin. “Boy, you’re having your problems, aren’t you? It looks like you need to suck it up, baby!”
Everyone looked at her with surprise before they began to laugh. As Lisa reached over to wrap her arms around her in a big hug, she grinned around at them. “I’m afraid she got that one from me. Sometimes, but not that often, we have a bad day and this is our battle cry.”
She picked up her keys from the counter before she smiled over at Kevin and Abby. “I’m glad we were able to help. But now we have errands to run, birthday presents to buy.” She rolled her eyes, nodding towards Chloe. “The one drawback of having way too many friends who are always having birthdays.”
Abby hugged her and Chloe before she smiled over at Alex. “Thank you for helping with the cookies. Finishing them, delivering them, just everything. And for making me forget about how awful I felt when I first woke up this morning. I have a feeling I’d be scrambling right now if you hadn’t come to help out.”
She took a box off of the counter and held it out to Chloe, who’d come running back into the room after saying goodbye to Poppy.
“These cookies are for you. Please come back to visit Poppy and me again. I won’t even put you to work next time.”
This earned Abby a big hug before Chloe went flying past Alex and out the door after Lisa, her excited cry floating back to them.
“Momma, Momma! Abby gave me a whole box of cookies!”
As Alex began to follow her, he stopped at the door to look back at Kevin, one eyebrow raised.
For a second, Kevin appeared confused. Then he turned to Abby with a grin. “Oh yeah… it seems Chester ran into Sophie. Almost crashing into the back of her car, in fact. He said she was trying to save a puppy? They talked and now he wants her number. The story is he promised to get her tickets to a game.”
Abby laughed. “Thank goodness, because she was over the moon after she met him. I’ve never seen her act like this:”
Kevin smiled as he reached over to tuck her hair behind her ear, such a simple touch, but one that had her almost forgetting what they were talking about.
Then she saw the familiar teasing glint in his eyes.
Uh oh, here it comes.
“Hmm… over the moon? I’ve never heard that one before. But I like it. Funny, I don’t remember you being ‘over the moon’ the first time we met.” He grinned. “I guess it’s a good thing my charming personality kicked in and won you over.”
This brought a long groan from Alex. He rolled his eyes. “Oh geeez… with that, I’m outta here.”
He nodded at Kevin as he went out the door. "I’ll be waiting for you outside. I know you’ll never find the place on your own, even with the fancy GPS system you’ve got in that car.
Alone once again, Kevin and Abby studied each other, unsure of what to say.
And again, they both started to speak at the same time.
Kevin reached over to take her hand, when what he wanted, was to take her into his arms. To hold her close... and to never let her go. But with the way things stood, he felt he didn’t have that right.
You need to get this thing with your mother straightened out.
Heaven knows he owed Abby this more than anything else right now.
He looked up at the ceiling, giving a frustrated sigh. He was still finding it hard to imagine what had been going on in his mother’s mind. It just didn’t make sense. Sure, she’d done a few questionable things over the years, but never had she gone to this extreme.
Abby was gazing up at him, her eyes searching his face.
He cleared his throat. “I need to go. Alex is waiting. I’d give anything to be able to take you with me, because right now, I don’t want to let you out of my sight. But there’s something I need to do before I see you again. Tomorrow night? I’ll pick you up around six-thirty. Okay?”
But he couldn’t leave her like this. Bringing her hand up to his mouth, he pressed a slow kiss to her fingers, his heated gaze making her almost dizzy.
Drawn in by this fire in his eyes, she swayed towards him. After he pressed a soft kiss to her forehead, he reluctantly turned and walked out of the kitchen.
Abby leaned against the counter as she watched him leave. Everything inside of her was screaming, urging her to run after him, if only so she could wrap her arms around him to keep him with her a little longer.
Instead she closed her eyes, remembering what he said to Chloe when he hadn’t known she was behind him.
Abby will always be the girl for me. I guess you might say she and I are in the same boat. Since I’m just as much, if not even more, head over heels in love with her as you say she is with me. She will always be my princess., as I will always want to be her prince.
She was going to cherish these words forever.
Her lips curving into a faint smile, she clasped her hands over her heart, knowing this was where they’d already gone to stay.
At the sound of someone entering the kitchen, she opened her eyes. She watched as Kevin swiftly covered the space between them to pull her roughly into his arms.
Their eyes locking, his lips parted as if he was going to speak. Then, he groaned her name, his mouth covering hers in a demanding, hungry kiss.
She wrapped her arms around his neck and hung on, her feet barely touching the floor as his hands pressed her even more closely against him. She struggled to keep up, giving back all she could.
It was a kiss filled with everything they wanted to say, but hadn’t.
It was an unspoken apology with the promise of total forgiveness. And it was a vow of their complete trust in each other.
But most of all, it was a pledge of their love.
When the kiss finally ended, they clung to each other, almost as if they’d just weathered a raging storm. Which, if you were to stop and think about it, this was exactly what had happened.
Her face pressed against his shoulder, Abby tried to catch her breath. A faint smile on her face, she finally gazed up at him to see there was also a smile lurking at the corner of his mouth.
Despite this, his voice was rough as he brushed his mouth over hers. “We’ve still got it, Red. And we always will. Until tomorrow then.”
He winked at her before he turned to leave the kitchen. Seconds later, she heard the front door close.
Her hands gripping the edge of the countertop, she slowly sank down onto one of the stools. Her fingers going to her lips, she saw her hand was shaking.
Well… that was certainly unexpected.
But nice… very, very nice.
In fact, it was more than that.
It was absolutely amazing.
Let me know what you think!