I spent a wonderful afternoon recently with my four talented co-workers (from my day job), having a “luncheon meeting.” One of our members was returning to college after having spent the summer learning and helping and becoming a vital part of our team. We went to a nifty restaurant I’d never visited before called Not Your Average Joe’s.

The food was great, the company even better. Our group spans the ages—the youngest still in her teens, the oldest (me) nearing sixty (yikes!). Yet we managed to spend a pleasurable hour+ of close-up-and-personal time without a moment of awkward silence. And we didn’t talk shop.

What can women representing three distinct generations possibly have in common?

One hot guy.

I’d spent a good fifteen minutes watching (and drooling over) one of the busboys travel from the kitchen to tables and back. Busboy, right? You picture an acne-ravaged redhead with glasses too big for his face. Wrinkled, stained shirt hanging crooked over scrawny shoulders. No. This was not your average busboy. But we were in Not Your Average Joe’s. Should I have been surprised?man-1214539_640

This was the busboy from the restaurant in Ladies’ Heaven. Tall, dark and handsome, with piercing blue eyes and a couple days’ growth of black scruff. His white shirt was not wrinkled, nor did it hang crooked over his broad shoulders.

Not that I was looking much at his shirt. Yum.

Just after our meals arrived and we’d delved into our pastas and salads and sandwiches, I (the oldest) lean over to Gigi (our almost youngest) and whisper, “Okay, don’t look now, but the busboy is hot. Just sayin’.”

blonde-1296489_640Gigi squeals and nearly chokes on her pasta. Covering her mouth, she says, “I knew you were going to say that. I just knew it. And I know exactly which busboy you’re talking about.”

We share a high five. Glances pass around the table, then shift around the dining room, all asking the same, silent question: Where’s he at? Followed by recognition, the growls, and the knowing nods.

“Yeah, I saw him. But he’s almost too good looking. He’s probably gay.” This from the youngest of our team, Jenn.

“You think?” This our three mid-generation members, in unison.

Jenn nods. “My roommate, she goes for the same type. The almost too-pretty guys. She’s had three boyfriends who’ve all later come out as gay.”

Five pairs of eyebrows raise in unison.

“Could be. Some of my best friends are gay men, and they’re drop-dead gorgeous.” This from Sandi, our newest team member.

Sighs ripple around the table.

I dab my mouth with my napkin and say, “Well, regardless, I’m always on the lookout for my next hero, and I’m glad I got a look at Mr. Busboy today. And if he makes it into my next novel, I can decide which side of the fence he’s on.” I wink and nod. “Since I write male/female, I can already tell you—Mr. B’s not gay.”

Murmurs of “Mmm, I’ll be on the lookout for your next book,” ripple around the table.

human-495749_640We all giggle like the schoolgirls none of us have been in anywhere from three years to thirty. As though we’ve been buds since the beginning of time. And since we all had to go back to work, this fun time was enjoyed sans one drop of alcohol.


What is the best, female generation-gap antidote? One hot guy.


Claire Gem writes intensely emotional contemporary romance. Visit her at her website or Amazon Author Page.


Posted in Contemporary Romance, Friends, Novels, Romance, Strong Women, Writing | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Magic Of Books: A Battered Ball

 Welcome Magic of Books & Holly Barbo with her new release!

Quick Reads Book 4
by Holly Barbo

Continue reading

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Why Write A Book?

Emotional Journeys is pleased to welcome fellow author, accomplished artist, and beloved friend, Gail Ingis350px-Catskill_Mountain_House

Fall in love with your best friend’s wife and face the consequences. Captured by this beauty, Rosalie Osborn (Leila-heroine) from Watertown, NY, Albert Bierstadt (Rork-hero) fell over his tongue, his feet and lost his heart to a young woman. Rosalie, a naïve debutante, unfortunately, was married to Fitz Hugh Ludlow, (Hank-antagonist) a syndicated journalist, drug addict and womanizer, a mongrel who married for money. The names in parentheses are fiction in my book, Indigo Sky.indigoSky-Soulmate 505_505x825 (2)

Fitz and his wife, Rosalie, visited the artists’ New York City Tenth Street studios, artists’ that were later known as the famed Hudson River Painters. Among them was artist Albert Bierstadt. After Albert & Fitz conferred about his artwork, Fitz gave Albert an astounding write up in the local papers—more than once. Now best of friends, they planned to travel west together, to the far distant Yosemite in California. Fitz would write and journal, while Albert would sketch and paint. After a brief sojourn in the Catskill Mountains, they left for their trip.

Inspired by Bierstadt’s painting Domes of Yosemite that once hung in Lockwood-Mathews Mansion, where I work, was sold in 1873, sadly, I must say. I decided to create a copy. While I was painting, I wondered how in the world did he know how to paint this awesome work of nature? Well, he and Fitz traveled to west together with Survey teams and Albert’s brothers, who were photographers. Albert also sketched and did small paintings, and used those to do his huge paintings in his Tenth Street studio. My discovery of the love between the artist and the journalist’s wife is actually what prompted the writing of this book. It shocked me when I realized that marriages of 19th century Victoriana had the same faults as today, honestly. People are people, what a revelation! Do you think I was naïve? I then took my pen to paper.

Blurb: In a whirlwind romance, a lovely New York socialite marries a fêted, debonair author. But beneath the charm is a cheating husband addicted to hasheesh. Her dream marriage turns sour and the simplicity of her life runs amok when a handsome stranger, her husband’s business partner, threatens her staunch loyalty to her wayward husband. When she faces the ugly truth about her marriage, her need to finalize her divorce sends her on mad chase across the wilds of nineteenth century America with a handsome stranger—she learns hard lessons of murder, kidnapping and more that almost destroy her.

About the Author

Gail Ingis writes historical romance, loves history and romance, of course. Her weekly blog frequently covers historical content. A native of Brooklyn, New York, Gail’s early days began and ended with writing, drawing and music. Her inspiration to write came from books gifted to her by an aunt. But life had other ideas.

Gail Ingis crop adjcrease-1 Color LargeAfter graduating from the New York School of Interior Design with a BFA in Interior Architecture and Design and with master’s studies in Architecture and Design Criticism at The New School (Parsons), she worked in interior design and architecture, and founded a school of Interior Design. Twice asked by publishers to write a textbook, her efforts were thwarted by a heavy schedule.

She resides in Connecticut with her scientist-writer husband. She and her husband love to travel, play tennis and ballroom dance. Currently, she sits on Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum Board of Trustees, and serves as the curator of art exhibitions.

Gail is also an artist. Having spent her youth dallying in Coney Island, she has worked over the last three-four years painting Coney Island images for her exhibition at Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, Norwalk, CT, currently to September 30, 2016. The reception, sponsored by Investmark, will include a book signing by Ms. Ingis of her novel, Indigo Sky, and a dance demonstration by a master ballroom dancing duo inspired by popular music from the early days at Coney Island. Crudities and fruits generously provided by Susan Kane, Catering.

You can find Gail Ingis here:

Amazon Author Page:

Amazon Buy Link:

Artist Page:






Gail loves to hear from fans—drop her a line.

Posted in Family, Historical Romance, Novels, Romance, Strong Women, Suspense, Traditions | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Book Blast Time Again!


A Very Big Welcome to Arie Pavlou and Charlene Keel on their Goddess Fish Book Blast!

Featuring their very timely contemporary romance 😉 The Congressman’s Wife

MediaKit_BookCover_TheCongressmansWifeAll Eden Bancroft has ever been to her high-profile politician husband is a trophy wife, born and bred for the part. She believes she has no choice but to play it—until she meets a talented chef and restaurant heir who makes her feel loved for herself alone. The more her husband uses and belittles her, the more deeply Eden falls for Kaleb. Even with Mitchell’s congressional campaign in full swing, the lovers manage to find brief stolen moments together. When her husband is wounded by a bullet from a disgruntled lobbyist, Eden must stay by his side. What she learns can set her free, if she has the courage to take a stand.

Buy your copy of The Congressman’s Wife on Amazon.

Charlene will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Enter to WIN HERE.

About the Authors:

Charlene Keel has written over a dozen novels and how-to books as well as multiple episodes of popular TV shows such as Fantasy Island and Days of our Lives.  Her Dell book, Rituals, was the basis for the first made-for-syndication soap opera.  Recently she co-authored The Tracks, a YA supernatural trilogy.  Shadow Train, the final installment, won a Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewer’s Choice Award.  Keel has also written screen adaptations of novels by bestselling authors, and has worked as editor or managing editor for a few international magazines.  In her spare time she ghostwrites books and screenplays for celebrities, doctors, corporate moguls, spies, strippers and anyone who has an interesting story to tell.MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_TheCongressmansWife

For more information:


Follow Charlene on Twitter       Facebook

Red Sky Book Blog

Arie Pavlou is a popular chef who attended Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and then perfected his craft at some of the top-rated Michelin restaurants in France and New York.  He has lived and worked in France, Cyprus and the U. S. and is an avid world traveler who speaks five languages.  He enjoys all sports and has a talent for knife-throwing, which he perfected at Le Cordon Bleu.  Currently Chef de Cuisine at the renowned Bridgehampton Inn in New York, his specialties include Caramelized Baked Alaska, Winter Salad, Roast Lamb Fondue, Wild Game and Poached Pears with Mint Ice Cream.  The Congressman’s Wife is his first novel, and he’s currently writing a cookbook.

Arie Pavlou on Facebook


Now, for a sneak peek at The Congressman’s Wife:

Love at First Sight

This was an important night and Eden was at her best.  Her makeup was flawless and she’d pulled her honey-blonde hair up, letting it cascade down her back in a waterfall of curls. Her Norma Kamali gown, a dark emerald green that made her eyes sparkle, clung to her body and defined every curve.

Mitchell took her elbow and steered her towards the entrance to the ballroom, and the photographers followed them inside.  They had missed cocktails, partly because Mitchell wanted them to make an entrance, but mostly because he didn’t want her to have access to freely flowing liquor so soon after they’d had a fight.  The row they’d had earlier had been a big one.

He didn’t like it when she told him he was getting ahead of himself.  As soon as he’d decided to run for congress, he’d started spending, running up the balance on their credit cards.  There was no guarantee he’d win, she’d argued, even though he was well known on the political scene.  His family had owned a few dozen acres in this part of Long Island for over a hundred years, and his father had been a state Supreme Court judge.  Mitchell was convinced that, along with his mayoral record, it was enough to guarantee him a seat in congress.

The fight tonight had started when she’d reminded him that if the dinner didn’t go well, his campaign would be over before it got started.  This was their first formal fundraiser.  At five hundred dollars a plate, she was worried they wouldn’t meet their goal.

Their argument had been pointless—like most of them.  When he had his mind set on something, Mitchell didn’t want to hear that his scheme of the moment was imperfect, and he especially didn’t like being told it wasn’t smart to spend money they didn’t have.  They both had ample designer wardrobes, but he had insisted on the expensive gown for Eden and a new tuxedo for himself.  The limo had been his campaign manager’s idea and she thought it ridiculous.  Mitchell, however, had been delighted.

All she had been able to think of as she got dressed was that their credit cards were almost maxed out—again.  Whether he won the election or not, she would have to get a second job if she didn’t want him to ask his mother to pay them down—again.  His law practice, which could have been successful if he would stay focused on it, was suffering because of all the time he was putting into the campaign.

Mitchell didn’t cope well with any kind of disappointment and if tonight was a washout, he would be impossible.  She was so tired of taking care of him, doing everything for him, especially the constant, incessant ego stroking he required.

As they walked into the Ocean Club, appreciative murmurs swept through the crowd—most of the comments she’d heard before.  Mitchell and Eden Bancroft were the glamorous, golden couple—beautiful, bright, young, sophisticated and well-connected pillars of the community.  Suddenly, a new insight dawned on her.

Except for his height Mitchell was completely unremarkable.  Having her at his side transformed him into a mysterious, even sexy man.  To look as ordinary as he did and still get a woman like Eden made him sexy.  This unexpected epiphany delighted her.  Laughter bubbled up in her throat as she flashed her million-dollar smile.


That’s when Kaleb saw her.  He had gone out to the dining room to consult with the maître d’ and as he started back to the kitchen, he heard the full, rich sound of her laughter.  He’d turned to see where it was coming from and at that moment, for him, time stopped.  It was as if every moving part of the universe froze in a weird kind of suspended animation.  For a moment he could hardly breathe.  He couldn’t take his eyes off her.

She was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.  Her dress was emerald green, slightly darker than her eyes, and her just-right tan accented her soft, blonde hair.  It looked soft anyway, and her skin looked dewy and inviting.  Kaleb stared at her in awe.  Doris, a waitress who had worked all day at her regular job and was doing the gig tonight to pick up a few extra bucks, followed his gaze to the amazing woman.

“Good choice, kid,” she said, heading into to the kitchen.  “She’s hot.”



Posted in Contemporary Romance, Novels, Romance, Strong Women | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Dry Socket

tooth-1213720_640The condition affects a very small percentage (2-5%, according to WebMd) of people who have suffered the loss of a tooth. The condition is uncomfortable—the pain even becoming intense—but it’s treatable. I’m referring to the unfortunate aftermath of having a tooth extracted. When nature’s protective coating—an insulating clot—falls away to leave the bare, exposed bone and nerves.

But what does one do when it’s not a tooth, but a family member that’s been extracted?

Make no mistake: I know I have no reason to be complaining. What I’m talking about is not the permanent loss of a loved one. I can’t even imagine how I could deal with pain of that caliber.


So take my whining with a grain of salt. Or a dram of whiskey, a jigger of vodka. Whatever you prefer to dull pain. Mine is purely childish, self-indulgent pain.
baby-155178_640A crybaby. I know I’m such a crybaby. But after spending six weeks with my only daughter and grandson, who live over 1200 miles away (might as well be 12 light years), I let her go this week. Back to her real life: her job, her friends, her everyday routine. The one without Grandma and Pop Pop.

The only bad thing about spending the summer with them is letting them go.

Okay, I will admit: dealing with a very active, way-too-smart four-year-old on a daily basis for over 5 weeks can be taxing, especially when one hasn’t participated in that activity for over 25 years. But I’ll take it. The frustration, the exhaustion, the endless games of “tennis ball” with plastic rackets held together with strapping tape (after being beaten on the ground in frustration by said four-year-old). The nightly ritual of reading Ipsy Wipsy Spider for the two-hundredth time. The SCREECHING!, albeit joyous, from the back seat of the car, assaulting and nearly puncturing eardrums—ones I was convinced were mostly deaf to begin with.


But there are the moments, and they outweigh the taxing times. The really big hugs, the snuggle sessions, the tickle bug invasions. Helping Lil Guy pick out a new betta fish when the one we bought him last year “got dead” (why did THAT have to happen while he was here???) But the Thank You Grandma’s take away all the hurt.

Just like a kiss on a boo-boo did for my daughter, a lifetime ago.

Not to mention the mother-daughter moments that cannot be duplicated, cannot be denied, cannot be lived without in a truly fulfilled life. Giggling in the dressing room when Mom puts the dress on inside-out. Sharing the look of pride in my daughter’s eyes when my grandson makes a particularly awe-inspired remark. Whispered secrets at a stolen happy hour in a favorite local restaurant. During one of Lil Guy’s naps.

Naps, incidentally, rock. Too bad Lil Guy has almost outgrown them.sleep-375345_640

So, I saw them off just yesterday. They won’t be back until the snow flies and the Christmas tree is perched in its customary corner of the living room. But my heart won’t have a chance to grow cold with the weather in the interim.

I’m planning a trip down for Halloween already. It’s my favorite holiday, so it’s only fitting. Why wouldn’t the witch come to visit?

In the meantime, I will cry. I will come home from work to find the house quiet, with no need to be quiet because there is no four-year-old sleeping upstairs. No girlfriend-daughter waiting, cold drink in hand, to hear about my day and share my woes as only another girlfriend can do. I will pour my own drink, sit out in our customary spot in the side garden, alone, and I will cry.

Humor me. Allow me this self-indulgent luxury. If only for a few days.

Make no mistake: I have a wonderfully supportive husband. But girls, we all know this is truth. There’s no talk like girl talk.IMG_0369


Dry socket. That’s what my heart feels like right now. Like the wound’s protective coating has been ripped away, leaving only a sad, open pulse to throb. That throb will probably not ebb until the witch flies to Tampa to celebrate her favorite holiday.

Jet Blue, watch out. You’ve been duly forewarned. I will be checking my broom.witch-949055_640





Posted in Family, Mother Daughter, Traditions | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

It’s Book Blast Time!


Night Magic Book 1, Moonlight & Jasmine Series

by Kathleen Ann Gallager

MediaKit_BookCover_NightMagicKrista Winter is in need of legal counsel. Several years ago she was forced to flee her life as a teacher in New Jersey after being shunned for practicing witchcraft, and her past is about to catch up with her.

Jon Bartolo is a dedicated attorney. His days are spent helping his clients with their struggles, and his nights are spent in agony, lost in a world between life and death. His mother, who died three years ago, lurks in his house, suffering from a curse for eternity, without a final resting place.

A smoldering fire ignites between Jon and Krista almost immediately, however, he’s sure his secret would frighten any woman away. An afternoon escape brings them closer, but doubts linger between the love-struck couple.

Burning questions about how to fuse their futures together with so much of their past still clouding the future becomes a heavy burden that they’re both trying to bear on their own. It will take a touch of magic if there’s any hope in sight.

Kathleen will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Enter to win HERE.

MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_NightMagicAuthor Bio: Kathleen writes contemporary and paranormal romance in her home in New Jersey, where she lives with her husband and their two fur babies, Luc and Chaz. She spent years working as a registered nurse in an emergency room. She is also active in Community Theater. She has three children and three lovable grandsons. Her favorite romantic getaway is Cape May, New Jersey. You might find Kathleen on a beach down the Jersey Shore, wearing a straw hat and sipping on an iced tea as she plots her next romance novel.

You can find Kathleen at the following places:

Website         Twitter       Facebook

Here’s an excerpt from Night Magic Book 1 –

Steadying herself, Krista stared into his eyes with her heart racing. As Jon moved in again and plunged his tongue deep into her mouth, he caressed her back, and she surrendered mercifully to his touch. Each passion-filled kiss felt as if he was a long lost lover who had reappeared and claimed her heart’s desire. There was no telling what might happen next. Her whole body relaxed as he nuzzled her ear, teasing her with playful nips at her neck. All rules had been broken, but it didn’t matter. His hard shaft rubbed up against her, and she swayed back and forth, unable to break away from temptation. Jon’s breathing sped up as his hands traveled up and down her back. She quietly moaned, lost in another world. Every movement brought her one step closer. Was she lonely enough to have sex with a man she’d just met? Each kiss weakened her guard. Maybe it was fate. As his hand trailed across her back, her body rocked with his. Each flicker of his tongue along the sides of her mouth was electrifying, as if he wanted to devour her, and she found herself in a trance-like state. This was what she’d been missing. Running her hand across his firm bicep, the room spun. The warmth of his body was raising her level of arousal. Here, in the middle of his office, she experienced a passion like no other. Everything seemed right. Lust took control of her senses, and she let herself go with it. With each kiss, he cradled her in his arms, his embrace warm and protective like a warrior of love. How did this happen? Had she found the man she was destined for, or was it all a dream?

Posted in Contemporary Romance, Paranormal, Romance, Suspense | 3 Comments

Welcome Jana Richards!

Jana Richards is here to tell us about her contemporary romance from The Wild Rose Press

One More Second Chance

Welcome, Jana, and thanks for joining me today.

_MG_7506email-Jana RichardsWhen Jana Richards read her first romance novel, she immediately knew two things: she had to commit the stories running through her head to paper, and they had to end with a happily ever after. She also knew she’d found what she was meant to do. Since then she’s never met a romance genre she didn’t like. She writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and historical romance set in World War Two, in lengths ranging from short story to full length novel. Just for fun, she throws in generous helpings of humor, and the occasional dash of the paranormal. Her paranormal romantic suspense “Seeing Things” was a 2008 EPPIE finalist.

In her life away from writing, Jana is an accountant/admin assistant, a mother to two grown daughters, and a wife to her husband Warren. She enjoys golf, yoga, movies, concerts, travel and reading, not necessarily in that order. She and her husband live in Winnipeg, Canada with their Pug/Terrier cross Lou and several unnamed goldfish. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at

Jana’s contemporary romance, One More Second Chance, is part of her Lobster Cove Series. It’s the perfect combination of small town romance and second chance at love. Here’s the blurb:

Dr. Alex Campbell has an agenda—finish his contract to provide medical services in Maine, pay off his medical school debt, and head back to his real life in San Diego. But when he meets Julia, all his carefully laid plans are put in jeopardy.perf5.000x8.000.indd

Julia Stewart, Lobster Cove’s high school principal, swears she’ll never let another man drag her away from the home she loves. Her aging parents need her, and the Cove is where she wants to raise her daughter. When her mother’s illness brings her and the big city doctor closer together, panic sets in. Her marriage taught her men don’t stay.

Can she put aside the heartaches of the past and trust Alex enough to accept the love he’s offering? Or will her fear of abandonment mean she’ll send him away forever?

Jana is currently giving away a print copy of ONE MORE SECOND CHANCE at Goodreads. For your chance to win, please enter her contest here.
Here’s a few excerpts to whet your appetite!

They drank their tea in silence, but the silence didn’t feel awkward. Julia felt soothed, the stress slowly leaving her body. Perhaps her grandmother had been onto something. The tea seemed to be working.

She finished the last of it and set down the cup. “I should be going. I left Ava with Tracy, and she’s probably hungry by now.”

Julia got to her feet and headed to the front door, with Alex following her. “Thanks for the tea, and for listening. I guess I needed both today.”

“Anytime. Seriously, Julia, anytime you need to talk, about anything, give me a call.”

She wondered if he was speaking as a doctor, as a friend, or as a man. Which one did she want him to be?

“Thank you.”

“I’ll try to keep an eye out for your folks, see if there’s anything I can do for them.”

She was touched by his offer. “I really appreciate that, but I know how busy you are.”

He waved away her concern. “It’s no big deal. I appreciate my grandmother’s neighbors checking in on her, and I’d be happy to do the same.”

He really did understand how she felt. “In that case, thank you.”

She opened the front door and stepped outside. Turning to Alex, she smiled. His thick hair had begun to dry, and the dark strands gleamed in the spring sunshine. Her breath caught in her throat at his beauty.

“Bye, Alex.”

“Bye. Take care.”

Julia hurried down the steps and across the lawn to her car. An appreciation for his looks was as far she could take any relationship with him. Her life was too complicated, too full already. And she would never get involved with a man who planned to leave Lobster Cove in only a few more months.


Beth fanned herself with a napkin, giving an exaggerated sigh. “If only I was fifteen years younger and twenty pounds lighter, I’d be all over the good doctor.”

Julia laughed. “Aren’t you forgetting something? Or someone? You know, Marty? The guy you go home to every night?”

“Marty?” Beth pretended to think about the question. “The name does sound vaguely familiar.”

“It should. You’ve only been married to him for the last twenty years.”

“What can I say? A pretty face like Alex Campbell’s can turn the head of even the most devoted wife.”

Buy Links:

Amazon    Amazon UK   Amazon Canada   The Wild Rose Press   Kobo   AllRomanceEbooks   Barnes&Noble   iBooks   Bookstrand


Posted in Contemporary Romance, Jana Richards, Romance, Second Chance at Love, Small Town Romance | Leave a comment

Goddess Fish Book Blast! Featuring J. M. Stewart

I’m pleased to welcome author J.M. Stewart to my blog today, discussing her contemporary romance, LUC.


After her husband’s death two years ago, erotic romance author Liz Anderson moved home to small-town Angel Bay to heal her broken heart. So when her best friend fixes her up with a single father ten years her junior, she doesn’t expect much. But this hot young chef is igniting her long-dormant passion.

With a three-year-old daughter to raise and a restaurant to run, the last thing Luc Rossi’s life has room for is love. After his fiancée’s betrayal, he isn’t sure he believes in it anyway. His colleague’s matchmaking attempt is awkward at best, but what can he do except play the gentleman? Liz ends up being smart, charming, and sexy, and he can’t resist her.

An offer to teach her to cook leads to a steamy fling, but this gorgeous older woman makes Luc wonder if it’s time to open his heart again. Can he convince Liz that giving their relationship a chance beyond the bedroom wouldn’t be a betrayal of the past she holds dear?

The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Enter HERE!


Halfway down the alley, he pivoted and stalked back in her direction. He glared at her, as if somehow all this was her fault.

“I was dying to let every single one of those guys know you’re mine.”

Liz could only stare, stunned. So she was right. He was jealous. What was worse, the intensity in his gaze sent a fierce yearning rolling through her belly in hot little waves. Daniel had looked at her like that once. Right before he decked some guy for making a pass at her.

Every limb shaking, she squared her shoulders, trying her damnedest to get her equilibrium back. It didn’t matter why he was behaving like a Neanderthal or how sexy he looked doing it. He had no right. “You do realize it’s going to be all over town by tomorrow?”

Something flashed across the recesses of his eyes that she didn’t catch before his jaw tightened and his expression blanked. He stalked to the end of the alley, where the blacktop met the sidewalk, and stared out at the street beyond. “It was all I could think of. The way he looked at you, I knew exactly what he was thinking, and you were standing there, frozen in fear.”

Liz folded her arms. It was a meager defense, but it was all she had left. “I wasn’t afraid of him. I could have handled him if I’d had to. My father was a police officer. He taught me how to take care of myself. So did my husband. I know self-defense, and I’m a damn good shot. I—”

Luc pivoted around, eyes wide with surprise. “You know how to shoot a gun?”

“Daniel insisted I learn. I have a nine millimeter, and I have a permit to carry concealed, though I’ve never had the guts to actually carry it on me.” She frowned, unsure who she was more irritated with: him for getting to her or herself for responding. “The point being, I could have dropped him if I’d needed to. But I didn’t.”

Luc cocked a brow, clearly challenging her assertion. “Then why did you look so panicked? Who the hell was that guy?”

She heaved a sigh. He had her there. Damn it. “An overzealous fan. He kept going on and on about my writing, and people were starting to stare.”

But that was neither here or there. It was past time to end this insanity.

“Look, I have no idea what to expect after a one-night stand. That’s essentially what we shared, isn’t it? So, I expected we’d said our goodbyes and we wouldn’t see each other again. When I didn’t hear from you, I figured we were going our separate ways. I get it. But I’m fairly certain that means you forfeit your right to be jealous. I appreciate the concern, but I’m a big girl. I can handle myself.”

Without waiting for a reply, she pivoted on her heel and stalked from the alleyway, heading for the safety of the booth as fast as her legs could carry her. Whatever the hell this was, she was backing out now, because alarms bells were sounding in her head.

About J.M. – 


J.M. Stewart is a coffee and chocolate addict who lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, two sons and two very spoiled dogs. She’s a hopeless romantic who believes everybody should have their happily ever after and has been devouring romance novels for as long as she can remember. Writing them has become her obsession.

For more about JM or her books visit:




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Posted in Contemporary Romance, New Release, Novels, Romance, Strong Women, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

New Release: Welcome Tracey A Wood!

MIDNIGHT ANGEL-Soulmate 805_805x1275 (2)After almost losing her life in a vicious, bloody attack. Kat Shaw, a thirty-something, divorcee, discovers that there are such things as monsters. And the predator who attacked her is not human. She starts to develop unusual skills which have murderous consequences. And is an unwilling witness to multiple, brutal murders, seen through the eyes a killer. Thrown into a battle of Good vs. Evil, she falls in love with two men who are not what they seem. While her attacker stalks her and continues to murder the innocent, she has to find the inner strength to take on and fight the demons from hell. To protect her family and friends while also trying to save her own life.

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I’m pleased to welcome my good friend today from “across the pond,” as they say! Tracey A. Wood is celebrating her new release from Soul Mate Publishing. Tracey, tell us a bit more about yourself!

What was your VERY first concert? Who would you love to see now?   ABC – Who were an 80’s group in the UK. Not too sure if they made it to the US. I love most 80’s groups.  It would have been the late, great, Michael Jackson.

I’ve never heard of ABC! But I looked them up, and I’ll bet I would like their music too.

So how about favorite foods? Are you a Pizza or Cheeseburger Girl?   Pizza

I’ll take both, thank you very much 🙂 But not at the same meal, of course.

Have any tattoos? What are they? If not, what would you want?   Yes, I have a Celtic tattoo with a purple heart in the center. It’s on my lower back.

Tattoos are something I’ve been tempted to do all my life. Never have yet, though. I would probably have chosen something symbolic, though. Your Celtic & purple hearts sounds gorgeous.

So what about animals? Do you have a favorite? I would say cats. If you include mammals, I would say Dolphins.

I’m a cat lover myself. I used to raise Persians, but now I’d rather spend my time writing than blow-drying a cat!

Okay, so now you’re stranded on a deserted island. What 3 things would you have?   Solar powered Laptop, if there is such a thing. A big sharp knife and a big tub of salt. You may ask why the salt? Well, firstly if the island is in a sunny climate. I would need to replace the salt I lost. Secondly, food tastes better with a little salt. Lol

Solar-powered laptop!! What a great idea!!! Maybe you should patent that one…I’d be one of your first customers.

Tea or coffee drinker? How do you take yours?   Instant coffee, I have black but I do like a Cappuccino.

I am a black coffee drinker myself.

If you could be anything but an author and your current job, what would it be?    A crime scene Investigator. I have a Post Graduate cert in Forensic Science. It fascinates me. I watch all of the crime scene and murder investigation programs I can on the TV. Love them.

Forensic science is a fascinating field.

If your book was going to be made into a movie, who would be the main characters?    Kat Shaw– Would probably be played by an unknown actress. There is no one I have seen who would be suitable. She would be like Christina Aguilera but with brown eyes.

Berith – Ian Somerhalter and Michael – would be a cross between Charlie Hunnam and Daniel Craig.

What is your pet peeve?   Being late or people who aren’t punctual.

What is one thing most people would be surprised to learn about you?    I used to be an advanced scuba diver.

Oh, could I have used your help! My last book had a dive scene. I was fortunate enough to have a friend who scuba dives, and he helped me getting details right. Next time, it will be you!

If you could move to a different state, what state would it be? Why?   I would like to live by the sea. In Midnight angel, one of my characters owns a large coastal house. I would like to live there.

What is your greatest fear?   Spiders and Clowns. 

Uh, oh. I’m a spider lover myself. But my daughter is terrified of clowns!

And in closing, tell us what advice would you give an aspiring writer.  Don’t give up on your dream and read, read, read, your work.

I couldn’t agree more. Tracey, it was so nice chatting with you today. Best of luck with Midnight Angel!Tracey A Wood

Tracey’s Bio:  Tracey A Wood has lives in Staffordshire, in the United Kingdom. She has been married for over thirty years and has two children. One of her boy’s lives at home due to being disabled. The other has flown the coup. She has three cats that are her babies, and she talks to them all of the time. Funny thing is they don’t answer back.

She loves snowboarding, skiing, jumping out of aeroplanes and bungee jumping. Well, that is when other people are doing them. She prefers to have her nose in a book or writing one. She also loves to people watch which her husband is always telling her to stop doing. She has a job that she enjoys and works full time. Although if she won the lottery, that might change! She also has a very good imagination.

In 2014, she decided to take the bull by the horns and send her manuscript to Soul Mate Publishing. She feels so privileged to have her book published, as this is the first one that she has written. Congratulations, Tracey! Huge accomplishment! It has made her dream of being a published author a reality. Life really is too short to wait, you’ve got to go for it. She is still working full time and is also working on another book in her limited spare time.  Her favourite saying is ‘Everything happens for a reason’ which she also believes is true.

Her books are fast paced and centred on a female lead who finds an inner strength after being thrown into situations that are beyond her control.

You can connect with Tracey here:




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The Infamous—And Insanely Delicious—Whoopie Pie

Cartoon Illustration of Sweet Whoopie Chocolate Pie with Cream Clip Art

Wikipedia defines the whoopie pie as a traditional New England treat. I grew up in New York—not exactly New England. Then I moved and spent the majority of my years in the South. So I’d never had a whoopie pie. Wasn’t even really sure what one was.

Since I’ve moved to Massachusetts, I have received, on numerous occasions, gifts of whoopie pies from friends and neighbors. Apparently, it is a very traditional regional treasure. These generous folks deliver them, whether toted back from an Amish bakery in Pennsylvania or crafted in their own kitchens, as precious, sacred offerings.

At first, I thought it was a joke. Seriously? This giant-sized Oreo wannabe is a whoopie pie? How good can it be?

Until, of course, I tasted one.

Warning: indulging in whoopie pies is not for diabetics, or folks intending to cut their carb or sugar intake. Because the whoopie is the ultimate combination of three of the major (but forbidden) food groups: chocolate, sugar, and fat.

According to A whoopie pie is like a sandwich, but made with two soft cookies with a fluffy white filling. Traditional whoopies pies are made with vegetable shortening, not butter. The original and most commonly made whoopie pie is chocolate. But cooks like to experiment, and today pumpkin whoopie pies are a favorite seasonal variation.

chocolate cakes of whoopie with a souffle from a sea-buckthorn. style vintage. selective focus

(Hmm, never had the pumpkin variety. Might have to give that one a try this fall holiday season.)

This very informative site also tracks the whoopie pie’s history to the 1920s, reputedly founded by the now defunct Harris & Boyar Bakery in Morrellville, PA, as a traditional Amish treat. (Wait. Is Pennsylvania considered New England? I didn’t think so…)

And how did the whoopie get its name? What’s Cooking America claims:

According to Amish legend, when children would find these treats in their lunch bags, they would shout “Whoopie!

 Which I can totally believe. Because now, when a friend or neighbor gifts me with a trio or four of the hamburger-sized, super-sugarized treats, I think the same thing. Right before I slink into the kitchen and cut one in half to sample.

AmishChildThat’s right—cut one in half. I am not diabetic, but I honestly believe if I indulged in an entire, hamburger-sized whoopie pie, I would end up in a sugar coma. Smiling, but still comatose. And surely needing a size bigger jeans when I awoke.

I can tell you one thing: whoopie pies are a writer’s secret weapon. Move over, caffeine. Stand aside, elusive Muse. If it’s late in the day and my eyelids are getting heavy over the keyboard, half a whoopie pie will take me straight through until the wee hours.

What a decadent, sinful way to stay awake. Friends, neighbors, fellow New Englanders—keep those whoopies coming. You may well be responsible for the completion of my next novel.


Claire Gem writes insanely emotional contemporary romance. Visit her & find out more at her Amazon Author Page.


Posted in Amish, Baking, New England, Traditions, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment