Hello my lovely Book Peeps and a quite (I apologize) belated Happy New Year! If you’re anything like me the new year finds you wanting to get ALL THE THINGS DONE with really no set plan on how to do all those things.
And if you know me for more than a minute you’ll know that my life is more than a little out of control and I’ll do just about anything to fool myself regarding that fact, hence my obsession with planning in general and planners in specific.
Which beings me to today’s funny… The other day I had the pleasure of meeting my longtime dear friend Patricia of PVE Design (check her out at @pvedesign on Instagram) for a long overdue lunch and when I walk into the restaurant I saw that she was writing in her planner at the table. Well, I said, “hey, what are you doing with the same planner as me!” All excited to see that she was now a fellow Hobonichi lover and eager to get into a full-blown conversation about all things Hobonichi and the virtues of its lovely Tomoe River paper.
Well PVE looks at me with a bit of a blush and hands me the gift she was holding for me since Christmas due to our scheduled and rescheduled lunch dates: a brand new 2018 A6 Hobinichi Techo Planner (English Version) which happens to be the same one I already had in my purse at the time. She is such a kind soul and my double gain is now yours.
Click the links below because one lucky winner who signs up for my mailing list will win the NEW Hobonichi A6 Techo Planner along with a signed copy of my latest novel THE BETTING VOW. Good luck! Oh and don’t worry if you’re already signed up- just enter your info and click sign up, you will not get double emails from me. I don’t like emailing all that much. LOL!
So 2017 was filled with some ups and plenty of downers too. As a writer it was also filled, for me, with quite a few moments of doubt. So imagine my shock when I get a tweet the other morning from none other than the amazing, incomparable, QUEEN of all the words, Ms. Beverly Jenkins congratulating me on making NPR’s Great Reads 2017 list with my book THE BETTING VOW.
I tell you all I could say was Huh? And What? And WOW!
What an amazing moment and so very needed to end out 2017 and get me rolling into the 1-8.
Here’s to us tacking it together! CHEERS!
The big day has finally arrived and Book #3 in my Unconventional Brides Series:
THE BETTING VOW is here!
I’m so excited to share finally share the opposites attract, Married At First Night styled, love story of wildly sexy super model, Leila Darling and straight-laced television network executive Carter Bain with you all.
Leila Darling is past done with the supermodel thing, especially the mega-parties and high-profile flings that have done nothing but leave her alone and jaded. She’s got the talent to be a serious actress, but the industry sees her as a high-maintenance, impulsive party girl with a reputation for leaving men in the dust—especially TV producer Carter Bain.
Carter’s had his eye on Leila for years, so when a bet gives him a chance to get close to her, he accepts. With the goal of getting Leila the image makeover she needs and Carter the star he desires, the game is on. Get married and stay married for six months. If Leila lasts, she gets her pick of his A-list roles. If Carter wins, she’ll take the hot sidekick part he’s offered.
But as their “I do” turns up all kinds of heat, Leila and Carter find they have more in common than they ever imagined. Are these two prepared to put business aside and surrender the ultimate prize, their hearts?
Order your copy of THE BETTING VOW at your favorite retailer:
Balancing on the hood of a sports car while slickly oiled up was a lot harder than most people imagined. Add to that doing it one-handed, because you’re holding on to a fully loaded burger. Plus, you are in a bikini and are wearing six-inch stilettos. Well, then, you’ve got yourself a straight-up high-wire act.
Leila Darling tried her best to suck in her stomach, push out her behind, while simultaneously “making love” to the camera by puffing out her lips into a sultry, come-hither purse. She narrowed her eyes ever so slightly, as if extending a welcome invitation to wanton sex, while still appearing approachable with her version of the ever popular smize. Why it took this much sex to sell a hamburger still baffled her, but hers was not to reason why, since she was getting paid a small ransom to sit on the shiny car, be extra shiny herself, and make the Barn Burger the most lusted-after burger in fast-food history.
“Give me more. Give me more!” yelled Matteo, the famed photographer, fighting to be heard over the blaring bass of the heart-thumping rock music in the studio. If you could call the rented garage space in a rather sketchy part of East LA a studio. The tips of Matteo’s dark hair, what little he had left, were bleached and spiked so that they stood up at odd angles, and he wore an excessive amount of kohl around his eyes, making his deep bags, which revealed age, all the more pronounced.
“That’s right, Leila. Just like that. Oh, darling, you are selling it. Those eyes, those breasts . . . I’m getting hungry just watching you. You’re a sexual beast, darling!”
Leila pushed back a sneer at the way the word darling rolled off his tongue. Though it was her last name, in her case the word could be used as a proper noun, an adjective, or sadly, as of late, a verb. “Pulling a darling” was used for all sorts of things, and none of them good. Such as wild clubbing until the wee hours of the morning. Though, for the life of her, Leila didn’t understand what was wrong with blowing off a bit of steam, throwing fits on sets, since in Leila’s eyes, demanding respect was essential in her business. But worst, in her eyes, was that now— thanks to her ex, well, her third ex-fiancé, Miles G, and that crappy song of his, his hit “Darling Leila”—“pulling a darling” was synonymous with being a man-eater who used men, made them fall in love you, but never committed to them. Of course, it didn’t matter that in all her terminal relationships, it was the guys who’d failed her, making promises they ultimately had no intentions of keeping. Giving her perfectly valid reasons to bail on the so-called relationships.
So today, with Leila’s nerves already frayed, Matteo’s use of the word darling slid over Leila in a way that was too slimy and too personal and had her questioning his usage altogether. In the end, the sneer won out, and Leila went with it, her top lip curling as she looked at the photographer. Besides, the “sexual beast” comment had got to her, too. Especially now, when Leila considered herself in a career transition. She couldn’t just let a comment like that go unchecked.
Sure, she knew she should be happy and feel accomplished as one of the few African American top models in the business, though her current case of burger hood dwelling would bring a question to that. Still, most would think Leila had it all and was living on top, but in reality, she felt something was sorely lacking. Respect. Leila wanted so very much to be seen as something more than a sexy body that could sell anything, be it fast food or French couture.
Leila inwardly sighed as she recalled, while balancing herself precariously, one leg cocked up, the other pushing hard into the hood of the sports car, that a little over a month ago she’d been in Cannes, being celebrated as a breakout star in a less than breakout movie. Sure, she might have had only a few actual lines in the movie, and yes, she’d been brought on for her looks. However, she’d taken that part and run, showing she had chops, and for that she’d been rewarded for something besides the way she filled out a bikini top. Leila wanted more of that.
But here she was, back home and back to the same grind. Stand. Sit. Turn this way. Tilt that way. Was it any wonder she was on edge? Add to it the fact that taking an early flight back from Cannes had resulted in the demise of yet another high-profile relationship. Leila was officially done with her life as usual.
“Now take a bite. We want to see you eat it,” Matteo said, his voice piercing Leila’s musings and pinging her nerve endings with its raw excitement, so much so that Leila didn’t quite know if he was talking about the burger or something else that she didn’t want to touch.
Leila let out a low breath and went in for the burger, but then, as if on cue, the music in the studio changed and on came the familiar first thumps to the song Leila was fast growing to hate. “Darling Leila.” Would she ever escape Miles or that damned song?
“Oh yeah!” Matteo yelled, now smiling wide and circling her with his camera as he clicked, clicked around her. Each click of the shutter felt like a tiny prick to her skin.
Leila shot Matteo a death stare but then forced her features to soften as she glanced over to the side of the room and saw the group of execs from Burger Barn huddled in the corner, looking at her expectantly. Bills needed to be paid, and for that to happen, the customer was always right. Leila reminded herself of this tried-and-true mantra as she let out a sigh and softened her features again, going on automatic pilot as she mentally blocked out the song that mocked her and Miles’s now failed relationship and, worse, all her relationships before that. She took a hungry bite of the burger, imagining for a moment that it was the head of the photographer.
Method acting. Zone it out, woman. Use that anger.
Just then her agent and longtime friend, Jasper Weston, stepped into her side view as he went over to glad-hand the Burger Barn folks. Leila took another bite of the burger. This time it was Jasper’s head she was biting off, as she remembered it was he who had told her that taking this job would be a good idea.
“That’s it, Leila,” Matteo finally said. “Though, maybe next time you could go at it with just a little less enthusiasm?” He lowered his camera and turned toward his group of assistants. Leila noted that they were all young and all blond, whether male or female. It would seem Matteo had a type and stuck to it through and through.
“We’re going to need another burger on set,” he said to no one in particular before turning back to Leila. She hoped that the actual food handlers picked up on his query and that it wouldn’t be one of the Stepford blonds who handed her the next burger. “How about we get ready for the next set and wardrobe change, but before that we’ll do the rain sequence?”
Rain sequence? Since when was a rain sequence on the shoot list? Leila thought as she looked around for a rain machine. She saw none. It was then that another on set blond assistant came over and took the burger missing two bites from Leila’s hands and scurried off into the background. Then another young woman came toward her with a large hose and a dubious look in her eyes. Instantly, Leila stiffened.
“No way, honey,” Leila said with a sharp look at the young woman. “You come at me with that hose, you’d better be prepared to eat it.” It was as if the whole garage had got put on mute, as all heads swiveled Leila’s way. She saw Jasper smile uncomfortably at the Burger Barn people and take a step forward.
“Aw, come on now, Leila, darling,” Matteo began. “We need a shot with you wet on top of the car. You moving around for me. Doing a little dance. Selling those burgers as only you can.” And with that, the damned near geriatric photographer standing in front of her, holding his camera at his side, mimed his version of sexy dance moves, rubbing his hands over his body, bringing them up and, to Leila’s revulsion, licking his fingers.
Leila looked at him in horror and then blinked her way out of the shock of it all and leveled him with a hard glare. “Like I said, little Miss Assistant of the Corn here is not coming near me with some dirty-assed water hose. Now, if you want to try, you can, but I warn you, you won’t like where the hose ends up in the end.”
And with that, Leila slid her oiled body off the car as gracefully as she could and walked off set toward her makeshift dressing room, Jasper following quickly behind.
I hope you enjoyed this sneak peek: Get your copy of THE BETTING VOW today!
Thank you for your support
and I’m wishing you Joyful Reading!
(Me with my lovely author copies and trying to wrangle Jack in for a pic- He’s not happy or impressed.)
Who says dreams don’t come true?
I’m happy to say that today another one of just mine did. To Me I Wed, Book 2 in my Unconventional Brides Romance series is out now from Kensington Books. I’m so proud to bring the unconventional love story of Lily, the accomplished event planner, and Vin, the bad boy chef, to people. I hope you all enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. This story was a true labor of love and with it I left a lot of my heart on the page.
You can pick up your copy of To Me I Wed where ever books are sold or as any of these e-tailers:
and also enter this month’s $25. gift card giveaway!
Thanks to all of you for your continued support. It means the world to me.
All the best,
Hi Peeps! I was so thrilled yesterday to find out that TO ME I WED, Book 2 in the Unconventional Brides Series, was chosen to be one of Goodreads best romances for April! I can’t wait until TO ME I WED is let out into the world next week on the 25th but util then here is a little sneak peek!
Have your cake—and true love too…
Nightmare bridesmaids’ dresses, tasteless fondant icing, budget-busting wedding expenses—some women just aren’t about it. They’ll laugh off tradition, make their own rules—and find the most outrageous ways possible to flip wedding day lockstep into true love.
She’s done, finished, had it. Between her family’s expectations and being always-a-bridesmaid, Lily Perry is fed up with being nagged to find a husband. She’s happy with her life—and tired of being burned by “nice guys” who demand she fit their dreams. So she’s going to settle the issue once and for all: by marrying herself. And celebrated chef Vincent Caro’s fabulous restaurant is the perfect place for a big-time, blow-out,
not-hearing-it-any-more wedding. Lily doesn’t care if everyone—including Vincent—thinks she’s crazy. Especially when his mouth-watering talent and no-commitments style ignites one sizzling, no-strings fling, or two…or more.
But no matter how hard they try to keep things light, their relationship keeps getting hotter. The more Vincent helps Lily tackle unexpected trouble, the more he finds she might be everything he’s ever wanted. Can she afford to forget caution and finally let go? And can they both take a risk to discover if what they have is meant to last long after the dessert course?
TO ME I WED
“You’re not just gaining a wife, you’re getting my best friend.” Lily Perry took one look at her sister, Sophie, and realized her mistake. Shit. Now I’ve done it. Did she really just use the same best friend line on Sophie that she had with Sophie’s twin, Audrey, at her wedding? Or was it Peggy whom she used that line on when she married Marcus? Her sisters had been getting married left and right, and all the weddings and toasts were starting to blur together. You’d think they were in some sort of great marriage race.
Lily looked around the banquet room of the VFW hall and caught her mother’s sister, Aunt Ruby pulling a face and whispering something to her newly engaged daughter, Nikki. Lily swallowed back a grimace. Jeeze, even Nikki was jumping the broom. At the rate her family was going, there would not be a broom or a groom to be snagged in all of the Rockaways. Not that Lily was actively looking for either. She had a vacuum in her apartment for sweeping, and, well, for other tasks, if her dating life hit a lull she had an electronic device to take care of that too. It was way more reliable than men anyway. Still, Lily glanced left and caught her mother, Renée Henton-Perry, staring too. The hyphenation in her name was still new to her and intentionally left off the wedding invitations. She preferring to keep things simple she said and going the traditional route of Mr. and Mrs. Perry request the honor blah, blah, blah and so forth. Her hair and makeup were flawless, as usual, and her skin was smooth and unlined. The untrained eye would never determine that she was the mother of six grown daughters—four married—with a grandchild on the way. One would also not know that right then she was highly pissed. But Lily knew. She caught the glint of disapproval in her mother’s eye and the ever-so-slight pull of tension around her perfectly lined mouth. Lily wondered if it was due to her speech faux pas or the fact that, one table over, Lily’s father, Philip Perry, was sitting with his arm draped casually around his current girlfriend, who was happily sipping on her pink cocktail and batting her long, glued-on lashes.
Lily cleared her throat as her cousin Nikki smirked and rolled her eyes in her direction. Unperturbed by her cousin’s cutting glance, Lily raised her glass higher, giving her sister what she hoped passed for a glowing smile before turning to the crowd. “I’m the luckiest woman in the world to have been blessed with the world’s best sisters. And to all my brothers-in-law, you’d better treat them right, or there will be hell to pay.” She then directed her final words to her newest brother-in-law, Simon, who looked ecstatic to be marrying Sophie. His big blue eyes shined brightly for her as they had every day since they’d met in Sophie’s improv class.
Both budding actors, they made a slightly sickeningly perfect couple. Sophie with her cocoa-brown skin and finely chiseled model features, and Simon with his wavy dark hair and captivating eyes. They looked like a couple in an aspirational car ad or in the picture that comes in the picture frame that you replace with your mediocre second best. Plus, they were always smiling and complimenting each other. If Lily didn’t know them in person and up close, she’d swear their love was faked for some reality TV show. Lily smiled at her new brother-in-law and continued from her heart. “Simon, I’m not worried about you. Your love for Sophie has been shining bright since day one. May it shine on forever.” Lily turned back to the now-beaming crowd. She had them. Hell, even Aunt Ruby was blinking back a tear.
But just as Lily took a sip of her champagne, she caught sight of a sneer from freaking Lacy Colten. Ugh, why had Sophie invited that man stealer? A nemesis since high school, Lacy was well known for frequenting weddings to get free booze and easy prey. Lily watched as Lacy stopped sneering, quickly sat up straighter, and stuck her already-on-display double Ds out even farther as she looked across the room, no doubt at her next victim. Lily’s eyes shifted.
It was him, and surprisingly, he was staring at her, not Lacy. Oh crap. His eyes so dark and intense they reminded her of hushed quiet in the dead of night. Midnight. Lily frowned as the heat of his stare penetrated her being. Working her over from the inside out. Stirring up feelings that she’d long told herself she was well and good over.
Pre-order your copy of TO ME I WED today!
All the best,
Because I’m editing right now and words are on the chopping block, I’m keeping them to just a few here and letting my pics do the talking…
Seeing a library edition of a book with your name on it is quite a dream come true!
Annual Divas retreat is now a highlight of my year. I’m so inspired by these amazing women.
I’ve picked up the crochet hook again. It’s been years.
My Nana taught me when I was a very young girl. This sure took me back.
There was a pretty exciting foozeball game that happened…or so I hear.
Gah! I got ARCs of To Me I Wed, Book 2 in the Unconventional Brides Series.
Can you believe this is coming out in just a few months? I sure can’t!
But you can pre-order your copy now! http://amzn.to/2krfm26
I hope things are going super over your way. Let me know what’s happening in the comments!
All the best,
All the best,
Good day! I hope the New Year is treating everyone super so far.
I recently got in cover proofs for book 3 (wow, that’s wild to say): THE BETTING VOW in my Unconventional Brides Series and I love how beautifully it sits right along with my lovely cover for book 2: TO ME I WED. They are so sweet I just want to eat them with a spoon! I think Jack is in love with them too.
So INSERT GROOM HERE (book 1) which is out now is just the beginning of the fun for the
Book 2 will be out May 1st and Book 3 will be out September 1.
2017 will be quite the ride!
Pick up INSERT GROOM HERE wherever books are sold and get in on the fun now!
Thanks so much!
All the best,
Happy New Year my Dear Peeps. Welcome to the new world.
Ouch! Does that sounds as scary as you read it as it does when I write it?
Sorry. I’ll just move right along to happier chit chat. I’m hoping you all had a wonderful holiday and a
Very Happy New Year!
I’m thrilled to say that on the very first day of the new year I got to start it off in a most exceptional way by seeing my very first mass market single title, INSERT GROOM HERE book one in my Unconventional Brides Series, on the shelves in my local Barnes and Noble for the first time. It was a pretty fantastic feeling and one I’ll never be able to recapture. Hey, your first time is your first time and I’m so grateful to my editor, Selena James and my publisher, Kensington Books for making that dream come true! (cut to me posing awkwardly while I try and play it cool blinking back tears as my husband not so discreetly snaps pics.)
I tell you what, I may be a way late bloomer, but I least I got a chance to see the sun.
There is something to this never too late stuff.
You can pick up your copy of INSERT GROOM HERE Book 1 of the
Unconventional Brides where ever books are sold !
And a bonus don’t forget: please subscribe to my mailing list on the right and click below to enter this
Hint: it’s FIRE! (Kindle Fire)
All the best,