Excerpt Mrs. Scrooge
Patricia Mary Elizabeth Dean knew all about biology and how marriage and babies didn’t always go hand-in-hand the way they did in old movies and television sitcoms. She’d heard stories about the days when a young girl had to leave home if she became pregnant out of wedlock but those days were long gone by the time it happened to her mother Samantha.
Sam had stayed right where she was, safe and secure in her parents’ house in Rocky Hill, New Jersey. She finished her senior year of high school and, nine months pregnant with Patty, she marched up to get her diploma then marched back out of the auditorium and headed for the hospital in Princeton. Five hours later Patty was born, and it seemed that from her very first breath she had been looking for a man to be her father.
Her best friend Susan couldn’t understand it at all. “My dad is always telling me I can’t stay up to watch Letterman,” Susan had complained just last week. “He won’t let me wear nail polish or get a tattoo or even think about going to the movies with Bobby Andretti until I’m twenty-one. You’re really a whole lot better off with just your mom.”
Patty knew her mom was pretty special. Sam was independent and ambitious and she had always managed to keep a roof over their heads and good food on the table, even while she juggled school and work and taking care of Patty. But there was one thing Sam wasn’t very good at and that was romance.
Her mom said she didn’t have time for boyfriends and dating and maybe that was true but it seemed to Patty that it wouldn’t be long before she ran out of time. Patty had heard women her mother’s age talking about their biological clocks and how all the good men had been snapped up while they were busy building careers and she hated to think her mom would end up old and lonely with a dozen cats.
Not that Patty didn’t like cats but . . .
And so it was that she decided to take over the quest.
There had been a few good prospects but nobody she could imagine becoming part of her family until the day Murphy O’Rourke walked into the classroom to give his career-day presentation, and she knew her search was over.
Murphy O’Rourke wasn’t handsome, although his sandy brown hair was shiny and his hazel eyes held a friendly twinkle. He wore a brown polo shirt with a corduroy sport coat that was frayed at the elbows—and Patty couldn’t imagine him sewing on those wimpy patches Susan’s dad had on his corduroy sport coat. He didn’t have a fistful of gold rings or ugly puffs of chest hair sticking out of his shirt, and his voice didn’t go all oily when he talked to women. When Mrs. Venturella introduced him to the class he didn’t try to be funny or cool or any of the thousand other things that would have been the kiss of death as far as Patty was concerned.
He smiled at them as if they were real live people and said, “Good morning. I’m Murphy O’Rourke,” and something inside Patty’s heart popped like a birthday balloon.
“That’s the one!” she whispered to Susan. “He’s perfect.”
Susan’s round gray eyes widened. “Him?” The girl looked down at the fact sheet in front of her. “He hasn’t even been to college.”
“I don’t care. He’s exactly what I’ve been looking for.”
Susan wrinkled her nose. “He’s old.”
“So is my mother. That’s what makes him so perfect.”
“I liked the fireman,” said Susan. “Did you see those muscles!” The girl sighed deeply and fluttered her eyelashes, and Patty could barely keep from hitting her best friend over the head with her math notebook.
“The fireman was stupid,” said Patty. “He didn’t even understand the theory behind water-pressure problems encountered fighting high-rise fires.”
“Patty, nobody understands things like that except you.”
“The nuclear physicist from M.I.T. understood.”
“Then why don’t you think he’s the right man?”
“Because he called me ‘little lady’ when he answered my question on the feasibility of nuclear power near major urban centers.”
“But he was cute,” said Susan. “He had the most darling red suspenders and bow tie.”
“I hate bow ties.”
Susan made a face. “Oh, you hate everything, Patty Dean. I think you’re about the snobbiest girl I’ve ever—”
“Patricia! Susan!” Mrs. Venturella rapped her knuckles sharply against the chalkboard at the front of the room. “If your conversation is so fascinating, perhaps you’d be willing to share it with the rest of the class.”
Susan’s cheeks turned a bright red and she slumped down in her chair. “Sorry, Mrs. Venturella,” she mumbled.
Patty found herself staring up at the twinkling hazel eyes of Murphy O’Rourke and suddenly unable to speak.
“Patricia,” warned Mrs. Venturella. “Do you have something to say?”
Murphy O’Rourke winked at her and before she knew it, the words came tumbling out. “Are you married?”
All around her the class was laughing but Patty didn’t care. This was important.
O’Rourke looked her straight in the eye. “No, I’m not.”
“Do you have any kids?”
“That’s enough, Patricia.” Mrs. Venturella turned to O’Rourke and gave him one of those cute little “I’m sorry” shrugs Patty had seen the woman give Mr. MacMahon, the phys ed teacher with the hairy chest. “I apologize, Mr. O’Rourke. Patricia is one of our advanced students and she has an active curiosity.”
“I make my living being curious,” he said, then crossed his arms over his chest and leaned back against Mrs. Venturella’s desk. He looked straight at Patty. “Go ahead. Ask me anything you want.”
“On the newspaper business,” said Mrs. Venturella, with a stern look for Patty, who still couldn’t speak.
“Do you make a lot of money?” Craig Haley, class treasurer, asked.
“Enough to pay my rent,” said O’Rourke.
“Did you ever go to China?” asked Sasha D’Amato.
“Twice.” He grinned. “And I was thrown out once.”
Danielle Meyer held up a copy of the New York Telegram. “How come I don’t see your name anywhere?”
“Because I quit.”
Patty was extremely impressed: he didn’t so much as bat an eye when Mrs. Venturella gasped in horror. “What do you do now?” Patty asked.
“I’m a bartender.”
The only sound in the classroom was the pop of Susan’s bubble gum.
“Look,” he said, dragging his hand through his sandy brown hair, “I didn’t mean to misrepresent anything. When you guys called and asked me to speak at the school, I was still a reporter for the Telegram. This is a pretty new development.”
“Why’d you quit?” Patty asked. If there was anything her mom hated, it was a quitter. She hoped Murphy O’Rourke had a good reason for giving up a glamorous job as a New York City reporter and becoming a run-of-the-mill bartender, or it was all over.
“Artistic freedom,” said Murphy O’Rourke.
“Bingo!” said Patty.
She’d finally found her man.
Excerpt: Prologue The Year the Cat Saved Christmas
As a rule, Sebastian endured Christmas with the good grace for which the best cats were known. He never indulged in merrymaking. His self-defined role as elder statesman precluded such a loss of dignity. Instead he held himself aloof and watched with great indulgence as his humans did the strangest things.
Once a year, around the first snowstorm, they opened the front doors wide and dragged in a big pine tree from outside. The same people who scolded him when he came in with muddy paws ignored bugs and dirt and sap and set the tree right smack in the middle of the living room carpet. They hung round, shiny objects from the branches and strung twinkling lights from top to bottom. Then, when that was all done, they placed boxes tied up with bows underneath the lowest branches.
Everyone who came to visit gathered around the tree to sing songs and drink something called eggnog and to give each other presents that weren’t half as much fun as catnip or a ball of yarn. All things considered, it was a most puzzling time of the year.
At Christmastime a cat had to learn how to cope or he’d find himself with a Santa Claus hat on his head and a ribbon around his neck, posing for some stupid holiday card picture that would embarrass him for the rest of his days. The dog and the parrot were perfectly happy to make fools of themselves and wear all manner of ridiculous outfits to make their humans laugh, but not Sebastian. The first person who tried to make him wear snow boots or a bow around his neck would find himself picking kitty litter out of his teeth for a year.
Sebastian did not suffer fools gladly. Christmas was not his favorite time of year. He preferred Thanksgiving, thank you very much, with that big juicy roasted bird on the table and lots of leftovers. When Christmas got too loud and confusing, he retreated to his hiding place in the Girl’s room where a cat in his golden years could sleep in peace and quiet until things got back to normal again.
This year, however, something was wrong. There was no tree, no beribboned packages, no friends and relatives gathered around singing songs to torment the ears of innocent cats. The Boy and Girl moped around in their rooms and not even talk of Santa Claus could make them smile. And what worried Sebastian most was that their parents weren’t smiling either.
When it all began, the Man slept downstairs on the sofa while she had the big bed all to herself. Sebastian, with the sensibilities of a diplomat, had tried to divide his attentions between the two of them but his twelve-year-old legs weren’t what they used to be. The stairs took their toll on his rickety knees and made him wheeze like a bulldog, so most of the time he slept on the landing so he could be near them both.
Finally the time came when he didn’t have to do that any longer, because the Man packed his bags and moved to something called a hotel.
The dog refused to believe anything was wrong. The parrot thought Sebastian was making a mountain out of a molehill, but Sebastian knew in his ancient bones that change was in the wind. He had been around since the beginning and he knew how it used to be when they were happy. There had been so much laughter in the little cottage that he couldn’t hear himself purr. Now he couldn’t remember the last time he’d even seen them smile.
He found himself dreaming about the little cottage where he’d first lived with them and how happy they’d been. It was as if the cottage itself were somehow calling him back home. The Woman used to sing while she cooked dinner and sometimes the Man came into the kitchen and drew her into his arms and they danced around the floor. Sebastian would even get into the act. He’d wind his way between their ankles until, laughing, they would bend down and stroke his fur just the way he liked it. Ah, those were the days….
He’d been young then and fast. A better mouser never lived than Sebastian in his prime. He’d bring his treasures home proudly and place them on the front porch but she never seemed to appreciate them the way Sebastian thought she should. As far as Sebastian was concerned, it didn’t get much better than dead mouse.
Sebastian didn’t do much mousing anymore and his birding days were a thing of the past. He hadn’t gone exploring in longer than he could remember, content instead to stay close to home in case he was needed. Sometimes he thought he caught the mourning doves laughing at him as he lay on the back steps and sunned himself. He pretended he didn’t notice them waddling by, but he did. It was a sad day when a proud cat like Sebastian couldn’t catch a mourning dove but time marched on and, like it or not, there wasn’t anything he could do about it.
Not long ago a sign appeared in the front yard and every day strange people marched through the house. Sebastian refused to acknowledge their presence as they peeked in closets and peered under the beds. He didn’t know exactly what was going on but he knew enough to understand his life was about to change.
He hadn’t seen his people together in a long time. The Man hadn’t been around much since the sign appeared. The other day Sebastian had heard his voice through the answering machine and he’d winced as the dog danced about with delight. Poor Charlie just didn’t understand the difference between a machine and the real thing. For a minute Sebastian had wished he didn’t either. He wanted to believe that his people would be together again and things would be the way they used to, but he was starting to suspect it never would.
When the big long truck pulled into the driveway that morning, Sebastian knew it was all over. He sat in the foyer and watched with growing dismay as the televisions vanished into the truck, along with the piano and dishes and even the paintings on the walls.
A snowy boot nudged his flank. “Move, fatso.”
Sebastian aimed a malevolent look in the human’s direction but he didn’t budge an inch. It was his house. Let old Snow Boots move.
“Hey, tubs.” The brown boot nudged a little harder. “I got a twelve foot couch to move. Get your furry ass out of my way.”
Sebastian considered turning the human’s pants into confetti but thought better of it. Instead he leaped onto the sofa with a surprising display of agility and curled up in the corner as if he hadn’t a care in the world. He was having trouble catching his breath but he refused to let on.
“Hey, lady!” the human bellowed. “Do something about this cat, will you?”
“Sebastian!” She appeared in the doorway. “Scat! Stay out of the moving man’s way.”
Sebastian arched his back and hissed. Scat? Since when did she tell him to scat? She’d never embarrassed him in front of strangers before and he didn’t like it one bit.
“Bad cat!” Her voice shook as if she’d been crying. “Don’t you ever do anything right?”
Her words cut him to the quick. He jumped down from the sofa, landing hard on his paws. Pain shot up his legs and along his back. He was getting too old for gymnastics. He waited for her to come see if he’d hurt himself but she turned away as if she’d forgotten he was even there. That hurt most of all.
“You gonna stand there all day, fatso?” the human asked, aiming that boot in Sebastian’s direction one more time. “You heard what the lady said. Now scat!”
Sebastian couldn’t help himself. There was only so much a cat could take before he defended his honor. With one graceful swing of his paw, he turned the moron’s right pants leg into a windsock and then he marched out the front door, tail held high. Maybe next time the human would think twice before insulting an innocent feline who was just minding his own business.
He strutted out onto the porch and surveyed his domain.
Snow was everywhere he looked: on the porch, the driveway, all over the yard. Sebastian’s whiskers quivered with distaste. He hated snow. It was cold and wet and reminded him of baths and other indignities. Maybe if he looked pathetic enough, she would come out and rescue him. An apology would be nice but he wouldn’t insist.
He waited patiently, watching as tables and chairs and beds and tables disappeared into the big truck parked in the driveway. It seemed a very strange thing to do and he was pondering the mystery when he suddenly remembered the last time something just like this had happened to him.
The Boy and Girl had been babies then, too little to do anything but sleep and eat and cry. Sebastian would have suggested they leave the babies behind but his people had a strange fondness for the little roundheads, a fondness Sebastian learned to share only after they were out of diapers. In his opinion, litter boxes made a great deal more sense.
He remembered that summer as if it were yesterday. All of their furniture had disappeared into a truck that time, too, only back then there hadn’t been quite as much of it, and most of what they had boasted claw marks.
“Don’t look so sad, Sebastian,” the Woman had said, chucking him under the chin. “You’ll love the new house!”
“Wait until you see the backyard, old boy,” the Man had said with a laugh. “Slower birds and plumper mice and lots of shady places to take a nap.”
Was that the last time they’d all been happy? The Man worked harder than ever and was home less and less. She worked harder too, sitting alone at the computer late at night while the Boy and Girl slept. Sebastian never saw them curled up side by side on the sofa or dancing in the kitchen or heard them laughing together in their room late at night.
The moving men bellowed something behind him. Sebastian scampered down the icy stairs and darted under the porch, just in time to avoid being flattened by work boots and the big couch from the den. Snow brushed against his belly and made him shiver. He hated the cold almost as much as he hated the three-cans-for-a-dollar cat food his people sometimes foisted on him. At his age he should be curled up in front of a roaring fireplace with a platter of sliced veal and gravy, claiming his rightful place in the family.
Wasn’t it bad enough that the Man didn’t live with them anymore or that sometimes she cried herself to sleep when she thought no one could hear her? Now they wouldn’t even have a home and everyone knew you couldn’t be a family if you didn’t have a place where you could be together.
The cottage on Burnt Sugar Hill.
For days Sebastian had felt the pull of the old place until the need to see that old house again was almost irresistible. And now he finally thought he knew why: the secret to being a family was hidden within its four walls and somehow Sebastian had to lead his people back home before it was too late.
Previously published as “Home for the Holidays” in Penguin Berkley’s anthology “The Christmas Cat.”
Except Patty doesn’t want to go to a fancy boarding school. She wants a father and when she meets bartender Murphy O’Rourke at her fourth grade Career Day presentation, she knows she’s met the man of her mother’s dreams!
But can she convince her Mrs. Scrooge of a mom that it was time to give Christmas — and love — a second chance?
About the Author:
Molly Canaday wishes she could repair her life as easily as she fixes cars. She was all set to open her own body shop in Last Chance when her mother ran off and left her to manage the family yarn shop instead. Now guided by the unsolicited-though well-intended-advice of the weekly knitting club, Molly works to untangle this mess. But her plan unravels when the new landlord turns out to be difficult-as well as tall, dark, and handsome.
Simon Wolfe returns to quickly settle his father’s estate and then leave Last Chance for good. Still wounded by a broken heart, Simon is surprised when the town’s charming streets and gentle spirit bring back good memories. Soon the beautiful, strong-willed Molly sparks a powerful attraction that tempts him to break his iron-clad no-commitment rule. Can Simon and Molly find a way to share work space-and build a future together in Last Chance?
I did not even know that this book was a part of a series until I started writing this review. Hope Ramsay did an outstanding job of giving enough of the background as the story progressed that I never would have guessed that I had missed the first 5 books in this series. That is a quality that not many authors have and I am thrilled that I have previous books to go and explore now.
On to the story! The characters in this story are developed and unique. Molly our lead character is by far my favorite. I love that she is a strong woman standing up and doing what she wants in what is considered to be a man’s world! She likes cars and restoration and she isn’t going to apologize for it. One quickly realizes that there is more to Molly than meets the eye. While she talks good talk about not wanting a relationship, there is something deep down that gives you a different indication. Simon well to be honest irritated me for much of teh story. I am not sure what it was about him that just left me frustrated. Buck up! So what if you though you wanted one thing in life and it is turning out differently! That being said, he grew on me as the story progressed. Once he started owning his life, I came to like him. I also enjoyed all of the supporting character in the story. Everyone from Simon’s gay friend to Muffin the dog. The supporting characters in this story were just as strong as the main characters. This is also something that I do not see consistently.
The plot line was strong exploring Molly and Simon and all their life hang ups. What I really enjoyed about this story were all of the sub plot lines running at the same time. They do a nice job of crossing over each other and the main plot line. Molly’s mother up and leaving town to see the world leaves Molly with all of the responsibility of not only the household but the knitting shop. There is Simon’s father dying and the struggles with his mother. Simon’s art plays a large role as does Molly’s Shelby and trying to save it when Simon’s uncle takes control of Simon’s father’s Ford dealership. And there are a few more lines running at the same time.
Overall, I really enjoyed this story and the character. I will be going back and checking out the first 5 books in the series just to see what I have missed.
Sadie Howard never dates a guy more than once-but Fate has other plans for her when it comes to Aiden Downey, the one that got away. Aiden loved her, left her, and broke her heart. Yet suddenly she’s bumping into him at every turn, driven to distraction by his wicked grin and rock-hard body. Now she can’t resist finishing what they started-as long as she doesn’t let herself fall in love . . .
TWICE AS TEMPTING
Aiden Downey threw away the best thing he ever had when he let Sadie go, and now he’s determined to win back the woman he’s always wanted. Sadie agrees to let him into her life-and her bed-as long as there are no strings attached. But Aiden’s not about to make the same mistake again. Can he convince her to take a second chance on a once-in-a-lifetime love?
Sadie is a really nice girl who has been disappointed by the men she has let into her life. Her ex-fiance dumped her on the eve of their wedding for none other than Sadie’s sister. Like any normal woman, this made her very untrusting of men and vowed to never date. That is until she meet Aiden, who somehow convinced her that he was worth more than her one date rule. But just like in the past, Sadie was left high and dry when Aiden’s mother get ill and her breaks it offer with Sadie. Aiden also has trouble of his own – his ex-wife left with his business partner and took everything in the divorce.
Aiden know that he made a huge mistake when he let Sadie go, but he left that he had no choice since he was footing the bill for his mother’s care. Aiden hasn’t seen Sadie in a long time, until his cousin’s wedding. Sadie know that she never healed from Aiden’s actions, but she is firm in her thoughts that he can’t fix what he did. After the wedding, she seems to run into Aiden everywhere. It turns out to be almost everyday and it is getting harder and harder for to face her feelings for him. Aiden knows that he is not going to give up until he can win Sadie back.
This a quick read that leaves you with a feeling good happy ending.
From acclaimed author Katie McGarry comes an explosive new tale of a good girl with a reckless streak, a street-smart guy with nothing to lose, and a romance forged in the fast lane
The girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life—that’s who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers and she’s just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker—a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can’t get him out of her mind.
Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks—no matter how angelic she might look.
But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they’ll go to save each other.
I loved the first two books in this series so I was on the edge of my seat waiting for Isaiah’s story. The great thing about Katie McGarry ‘s writing style is that you can read this book as a stand alone if you have not read the first two books. For those who have read the first two, you get some update as to how our old friends are doing. This was not my favorite story in this series. While I liked getting to know more about Isaiah and what drives him, I really felt that Rachel was a weak character. I know in part that was done intentionally but she is not who I pictured for Isaiah. Rachel is just such a loner and so overprotected by her brothers. I never felt that the true Rachel was shown. I think that there were times where she felt true. This was mostly when she was dealing with cars.
One thing that I really enjoyed in this book was the supporting characters. I liked in part Rachel’s brothers, while I felt that they were over protective, they brought a lot of dynamics to the story. The supporting character that I enjoyed the most was Abby. She has such a spunky fun personality yet she has that soft side that pokes it’s way out. She brought so much to the story!
Overall, I enjoyed the story and would recommend it. It is a good solid contemporary romance.
The unrelenting cheer in Fool’s Gold, California, is bringing out the humbug in dancer Evie Stryker. She learned early on that Christmas miracles don’t happen, at least not for her. And this year seems like no exception. An injury has forced her to return to the family fold, no matter that they’re estranged. She won’t add to the awkward scenario by being seduced by the bad-boy charms of her brother’s best friend, the last man she should ever want to date. Even when she’s recruited to stage the Fool’s Gold winter festival, she vows to do as promised, then move forward with her life anywhere but here.
Jaded lawyer Dante Jefferson is getting used to the backwater town he now reluctantly calls home, but the pounding of little dancers’ feet above his temporary office is more than any man should have to take! When he confronts their gorgeous teacher, he’s unprepared for the attraction that sears him down to the soul. Evie is his best friend’s sister–off-limits unless he’s willing to risk his heart. Dante has always believed that love is the most dangerous force in the universe, but that was before he had to reckon with the magic of a certain small town, where miracles do seem to happen….
A great story to get you in the holiday mood! I will say that I have read all of the books in the Fool’s Gold series and this followed what I have come to expect from this series and author. That is kind of a double edged sword for me to be honest. I saw that because the book follows the same pattern which mean these stories are getting very predictable and takes away some of the fun of the love story.
That aside I really did enjoy Dante and Evie’s story. Evie has arrived back in Fool’s Gold, pretty much the last place she wants to be, after a dance injury. She is teaching dance to a group of young students when the studio owner decides to take off with her new man. This leaves Evie to try to figure out the annual dance recital on her own. She has not idea how she is going to make it happen and is blown away by the towns response. Dante is a jaded lawyer who is less than thrilled with the little town of Fool’s Gold and the tap tap taping that takes place above his head in the dance studio. Things are going really well for Evie and Dante until Dante remembers that he does not want a relationship and disappears just before Christmas and breaking Evie. As expected, things all come together in the end. A great Christmas story.
No one would suspect shy Lily Calloway’s biggest secret. While everyone is dancing at college bars, Lily stays in the bathroom. To get laid. Her compulsion leads her to one-night stands, steamy hookups and events she shamefully regrets. The only person who knows her secret happens to have one of his own.
Loren Hale’s best friend is his bottle of bourbon. Lily comes at a close second. For three years, they’ve pretended to be in a real relationship, hiding their addictions from their families. They’ve mastered the art of concealing flasks and random guys that filter in and out of their apartment.
But when they go on a family boat trip, surrounded by open seas and limited male bodies in sight, Lily’s confronted with a big fear. Only one guy onboard can fill her addiction, and she’s sworn off going there with Loren Hale ever again.
Now the only person who can truly help her can barely help himself.
Addicted to You was a raw power read. I am not exactly sure where to start with my review of this story. Mostly because it is like nothing I have even read. While I know that it is the reality for many people, it also scares me as to what future generations are faced with.
Loren and Lily have been friends forever through their families. They both have fun demons that they have been hiding from everyone until they both realize that if they fake that their are in a relationship they can cover for each other and hide. Lily is addicted to sex and porn. She has been know to have random hook-ups in bathrooms while other are out dancing at the club. Loren is addicted to liquor. His family think that he has stopped drinking but he hasn’t. Lily and Loren have been hiding their secrets for the last 3 years while pretending they are in a relationship.
The beginning of the book shows us what their lives have come to and it is a very real and sad reflection on what could happen to anyone. Somehow as real and painful the book is it just sucked me in and while I kept thinking that things would start to get better and they would figure out their issues, it just didn’t happen. Things got worse and worse for these two. It was unexpected when some random people come into the story and their lives begin to unravel before their eyes. It all comes out and they have to figure out how to move forward.
Be prepared for a dark haunting read.
They’re from two different worlds.
He lives in the estate house, and she spends most of her time in the stables helping her father train horses. In fact, Savannah has always been much more comfortable around horses than boys. Especially boys like Jack Goodwin—cocky, popular and completely out of her league. She knows the rules: no mixing between the staff and the Goodwin family. But Jack has no such boundaries.
With her dream of becoming jockey, Savannah isn’t exactly one to follow the rules either. She’s not going to let someone tell her a girl isn’t tough enough to race. Sure, it’s dangerous. Then again, so is dating Jack..
Racing Savannah was a great feel good read. Savannah has recently moved to Cedar Hills Farms when her father took a job with the farm, an opportunity that he could not pass by since he got She Who Must Not Be Named pregnant. Now it is just two days before her senior year is to start and she as to try to settle into a new home, which six other staff member, try to find herself a new job and start her senior year of high school. Needless to say she is one frustrated girl. She has doubts as to if the trainer at Cedar Hills Farms will feel that she has the ability to be an exercise rider with horses at Kentucky Derby quality. While thinking about her next steps while walking up the drive, a horse flies by her and she immediately takes action and calms the horse who is quickly followed by someone on horseback. This turns out to be the owner’s son, who Savannah has not met and has been warned to keep a distance from. Jack Goodwin is also a senior at the school she will be attending and he mistakes her for a tourist looking for a tour and lays on the charm. That is before his father shows up and announces that Savannah is the new groom’s daughter.
Savannah moves forward with trying to get a job at Cedar Hills Farms even though she doesn’t think her father believes she can. When she asks for the job, she is granted and interview under Jack’s direction since her is currently learning to run the farm. Jack’s condition is that she rides Star, the spooked horse that she captured when they first met. His father quickly overturns this but Jack is adamant that he see Savannah ride Star. She wishes she knew why. Just when she thinks she is offered a job starting the following Monday, Jack throws her a curve ball and says she will start the next morning by warming up Star before his race and then he will make a decision. Savannah rides Star better than the jockey and lands herself a job which turns into more than she could ever imagine. Savannah is quickly offered the job as an apprentice jockey and her father wants to tell her she cannot do it but she overcomes all the odds. She figures out that Star is afraid of men and will perform better with her riding!
Not only does Savannah’s riding life change but she quickly finds new friends at this school and finds herself falling for Jack even thought they are not supposed to be together. She is also asks that her wages be taken in order for her father’s new woman to earn her wages so that things go ok with her soon to be younger sibling.
There is a lot going on in the story and there are things that really surprised me. While it was an easy read, it was complex and ever changing. Miranda Kenneally does an outstanding job of taking sports that people do not understand completely and turning them into an easy to understand fluid story. I highly recommend you check this book out!
Thanks so much for hosting me on my book tour for my new release, Logan’s Acadian Wolves. I really appreciate the opportunity to do an author interview. It is great to be here with you and your readers! J
Can you please share with us a little about yourself?
I live in Pennsylvania with my husband, two children, dog and cat. My hobbies include autism advocacy, reading, tennis, zumba, traveling and spending time with my husband and children. I love traveling just about anywhere that has a beach or snow-covered mountains.
Have you always wanted to be an author?
I have always wanted to write a book, but I don’t think that is the same thing as considering yourself a writer. I don’t think I considered myself a writer until I submitted autism articles and was published in a magazine. Then, I was like, “Hmm…maybe I can write.”
Can you share with us your typical writing day. Is there anything you have to have while writing?
I don’t start with a word count on Chapter One, but once I really get into it, by Chapter Two, I try to write around 3,000 words a day. It forces me to keep going and remember what’s happening in the book, the previous scene, etc.
I write a scene at time, but the words and actions of the characters have to be in my mind before I start. So when I’m writing it is like I can’t shut my mind off. Whether I’m at the gym or in the shower, I’m constantly thinking about what is going to happen in the next scene of my book, exactly how it’s going to play out and what the characters are going to say. It just goes on like that day after day until the book is finished. Then I let it sit a few days and run back through every word for my own edits before I send it off to my editor.
What would you say is the most challenging or rewarding part of writing?
Chapter one is always the hardest for me to write, but after that, it usually flows.
Can you please tell us about your latest book?
Logan’s Acadian Wolves (Immortals of New Orleans, Book 4) is my latest release. Logan was Tristan’s beta, in Tristan’s Lyceum Wolves (Immortals of New Orleans, Book 3). Without giving away spoilers, Logan found himself in an unfortunate predicament at the very end of Tristan’s book. In Logan’s Acadian Wolves, he must rise to the challenges and struggles this new chapter of his life brings as well as find love.
How did you come with the idea for this story?
I don’t sit and write an outline. But I spend a lot of time thinking about scenes. When one scene is complete, it leads me to the next, and the characters end up telling their story.
Can you share with us your current work in progress?
I’m currently working on the next book in the series, which will focus on Leopold Devereoux. Leopold is a dark, sexy alpha vampire who is a secondary character in Luca’s, Tristan’s and Logan’s books. At the end of Logan’s book, he makes a startling discovery, which is about to change his life.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
There are so many great authors out there; it’s difficult to pick just one. If I had to narrow it down, I would say JR Ward. Her stories literally pull you in and won’t let you go. I can remember reading all of her books over the course of a month, one after another, and thinking, ‘this should be an HBO series’. I literally was up all night reading her books. She creates a new world in which there are traditions, culture and intrigue that is so realistic, you feel you are there in their world. You find yourself emotionally tied to fictitious characters because her writing makes you feel like they are real people.
I also really enjoy thrillers and mysteries. James Patterson is one of my favorite writers too. His books are amazing.
Do you feel that any of your favorite authors have inspired your writing style?
I feel some of my favorite indie authors inspire me to write and to keep writing. There are so many wonderful authors out there, and I’m grateful to have so many great books to read at the end of the day.
Open your book to a random page and please reads us a few lines.
“Heart racing, Wynter passed through the doorway and looked up at the magnificent stranger who’d saved her. As his eyes locked on hers, her breath caught in her lungs. Alpha.”
What is in your To Read Pile that you are dying to start or upcoming release you can’t wait for?
I just started reading by Darkness Seduced by Stephanie Rowe. Not sure how I missed reading this series, The Order of the Blade, but I just finished the first book, and it was great.
Have you ever used anyone from your real life encounters in any of your books?
Yes. I have a few friends who’ve asked me to use their names as characters in a book and so I wrote them into it. LOL J
What was the most surprising thing you learned about yourself while you were writing?
I guess the most surprising thing I learned about myself was that I could write an entire book. I started out writing non-fiction articles about autism, which is so much different than writing a fiction book. They are shorter and also, when I write about autism, I write about what I know, which is much easier. Along the way, I discovered my own writing process, and still, I’m not sure why I write the way I do. I just know that the characters just kind of speak to me in my head and then I write out a scene at a time. Then it just goes on and on like that until it’s finished. But the end product is a result of lots of editing by my editor as well as the incorporation of beta reader feedback.