Thursday, August 16, 2012

Now Presenting...Historically Yours!

At long last, it's here!




I'm pleased to announce that the next Johns Creek Second Chances novel, Historically Yours, is now available for Kindle from Amazon! I hope you enjoy this next installment of the series, and I look forward to hearing from you. Tell me, what did you think?

Happy Hugs,
Jess

The Spot Writers Present...RC Bonitz!


This episode of Remy's story comes to us from RC Bonitz, author of A LITTLE BIT OF BLACKMAIL and A BLANKET FOR HER HEART, both available from Amazon or B&N. He’s looking forward to the release of A LITTLE BIT OF BABY November 3.
Next week's Chapter will be written by Val Muller. Check out her spicy romance novella, For Whom My Heart Beats Eternal, and her middle-grade mystery series, Corgi Capers. Find out more at www.valmuller.com
The Spot Writers’ blogs appear at the end of this story. Don’t forget to check them out.
****
Ambushed
What to do? Remy retreated to the kitchen and downed the dregs of her morning coffee. Yuck, it was cold. She put the cup down and tried to steady her fidgety hands. The clock said it was time to go to work, but how could she? Okay, so what was the big to do? She had to face the man and she would. On her own terms. When she wanted to.
Stop stalling, she told herself. You'd think this guy was something special. As if it mattered what he thought of her. What she thought of him. Why was he sitting on her doorstep like that? He liked her? Well, obviously he did, but what about Barbara? And his child? His child!
Okay, that was it. Remy picked up her purse again and started for the door. A brilliant thought struck her. She didn't have to get to work exactly on time every day. She was never late. Dr. Kendrick would be mad, but she deserved a little slack at least once. Jeremy wanted to block her doorway with his butt? Well, he could block a little longer.
She put down her jacket and meandered into the bathroom. Her makeup wasn't quite perfect yet. And another little brushing wouldn't hurt her hair. Did her nails need a touch up too? Pulling the brush through her hair, her stomach tightened. Conscience, darn she was supposed to get to work on time. Darn you Jeremy. You're making me do things I don't like to do.
Grabbing her purse and jacket again, she strode to the door, and threw it open. "What do you want?"
Startled, Jeremy looked up and grinned. "I want to talk to you."
"We have nothing to talk about."
His grin died. "I want to explain. Why are you so upset?"
"You tried to trap me in my condo. I'm not upset- I'm mad." She hated being nasty, but she had to be so he'd leave her alone. If he didn't she'd be in big trouble.
"I'm sorry. You don't have to talk to me right now. I just---"
"Good. I have to go to work." Remy tried to step past him, but he didn't move. "If you don't mind?"
Jeremy gave her the most forlorn look, then got to his feet, and stepped aside. "When can I see you?"
She almost said something like, 'you can wait 'til doomsday', but somehow that's not what came out. Instead, she said, "I don't know." The words didn't even have much snap to them. Darn, what was wrong with her?
"Listen," he said, sounding almost desperate, "I'll stop by tonight, after work."
She charged past him and headed for her car. She should have told him not to bother, but she hadn't. Well, she could tell him after work.

The Spot Writers- our members:
Catherine A. MacKenzie
Jessica Degarmo
RC Bonitz
Val Muller
Deborah Dera

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Updates, August 2012

Hello, everyone! How are you all today? I'm great, and very, very excited to share some BIG NEWS!

Historically Yours, a Johns Creek Second Chances novel, the 2nd in the series, may be available as early as next week!

Final edits are all done, so all that's left is cover design and final formatting, and we'll be ready to rock and roll!
I'm very happy with the way this book turned out, and it really taught me a valuable lesson: sometimes, less is more. What do I mean by that?

Basically, when I write, I want there to be more substance in the plot, the characters. I don't want to write a fluffy lightweight novel that features unbelievable, shallow characters. I like to address problems and situations that may actually affect people who would read my books. My characters are all flawed people who have experienced problems, found out how to solve them, and grown over the course of the books. I think it's because perseverance is something I find very important and meaningful. We all go through stuff in our lives, and it's how we deal with the problems that define us.

But sometimes, less is more. I found I was trying to complicate things too much, add too many real-life twists and turns. When I pulled back a bit and wrote the book straight (without those twists and turns) it was easier to write. And since I had felt like there were roadblocks to finishing this book, it was terrific when I actually felt them dissolve. I have to thank my wonderful editor, Miss Sheila Mary Belshaw, who is an extraordinary author in her own right, for doing such a fantastic job with my book. She was very patient with me, even with all my control issues, and she helped me realize the difference a few small chances could make. So, thank you, Miss Sheila! You're wonderful!

I have a plan of attack for the rest of this year and all of 2013. I plan on releasing at least 3 books, and if time (and my muse) permits, it could be more. I am very happy that an idea for the next Johns Creek Book just came up and bit me right as I finished final edits for Historically Yours. I'm not releasing any details right now, but hopefully by June next year, that book will be out.  And, for all of you Hooking Up fans out there, your prayers have been answered! Did you wonder what happened with Catie and Gran? What about the letter Catie got on her wedding day? Well, answers to your questions, and the continuation of Ryan and Caitlin's story, will be revealed in Holding On. I am shooting for a December release date, right in time for Christmas! Might be a good gift for those who liked the first book...hint, hint!

On to different news: I have been having fun editing for Taylor Street Publishing, and I just finished up a wonderful book about vikings, written by my very good friend Lily Byrne. Look for that book in about a month or so. I have to edit her other viking book so they can be released in the correct order. Lily's style is very streamlined and smooth, and she's great at conveying a point without page upon page of description. She gets right to the point, and as a result, her writing is very clear and lovely. I suggest you look her up!

Sarah DiCello is another author I worked with recently, a newbie, so to speak. As I Close My Eyes is her first novel, and it's doing great! She's taken Kindle by storm, and I'm so proud to have worked with her. And, rumor has it that she's hard at work on the sequel, so look for it! She's also a lovely person, very sweet and open and enthusiastic, so it's refreshing to see, and gratifying to know she's doing so well. Hers is a very good book, and I think you'd enjoy it.

I think that's really all that's been going on, which is enough, believe me! Hope you're all well. Look for a giveaway to mark the release of Historically Yours, coming soon! And a big thank you to my readers. You guys are absolutely the best, and I'm so very humbled and touched that you actually want to read what I have to say. Thanks!

Hugs,
Jess

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Spot Writers Present...Deborah Dera!


Chapter 8 of the continuing saga of Remy comes to us from Deborah Dera. Deborah traditionally ghostwrites articles and stories but is in the process of finishing up her first eBook to be released on the Kindle platform later this month. Keep your eyes peeled!
Next week’s chapter will come from RC Bonitz, author of A LITTLE BIT OF BLACKMAIL and A BLANKET FOR HER HEART, both available from Amazon or B&N. He’s looking forward to the release of A LITTLE BIT OF BABY, due in September.
The Spot Writers’ blogs appear at the end of this story. Don’t forget to check them out.
***
CHAPTER 8
It’s not what you think.
This time the text message was from Jeremy. Remy sighed. Part of her wanted to answer him and find out what was really going on, but part of her was scared. What if Barbara really was the one sending the text messages? Their brief encounter the morning before was certainly enough to show Remy she leaned a bit towards the unstable side of life. But still – how had she gotten her number? From Jeremy? Had he let his guard down around someone he seemed to have such a dislike for? Had she gotten into his phone?
Please answer me.
Remy considered it, but left her phone on the counter in favor of a shower. She certainly didn’t owe Jeremy anything. Saturday mornings in the office were the busiest and she knew Irene would be out sick again. Remy would have to deal with the chaos of the Saturday morning routine and the awkwardness of Dr. Kendrick by herself.
As Remy basked in the shower steam and enjoyed the hot water cascading down her back, she couldn’t help but think back to her time out with Sam – no, no, Dr. Kendrick – the night before. She thought about his demanding demeanor in the office – his pride and joy – and then her thoughts drifted to his infectious smile and the genuine concern he had shown her the night before. Maybe he really had invited her to his place with nothing but honorable, protective intentions. Maybe Remy wouldn’t have minded if he had wanted more.
Shaking the thoughts from her head, Remy turned the shower off and grabbed her favorite fluffy towel. Wrapping herself snugly, she padded towards the kitchen and the aroma of freshly brewed coffee. Just as she put the pot back on the warmer, her phone buzzed again.
I’m really sorry about Barbara. I hope she’s not bothering you. I’d really like to explain.
Shaking her head, Remy grabbed her coffee and headed back towards her bedroom. She pulled out her most comfortable pair of scrubs and quickly dressed while thinking about the phone.
Why won’t he stop texting me? Why is he being so persistent? She struggled with the idea of a man she’d known for less than two days feeling as though he urgently needed to explain himself to her.
Remy considered turning the phone off and leaving it home. What if she leaves me another threat, though, and I don’t know what it is? The thought was intimidating and Remy suddenly wished she had been able to convince Allison and Sarah to take the self-defense class she was too chicken to take on her own.
Gathering her jacket and purse, Remy headed towards the kitchen one last time. She reached to throw the cursed phone into her purse as another text came through.
Can I at least come in for a cup of coffee before you leave?
Come in, she thought? Coffee? What? How does he… And that’s when Remy realized the magnitude of her problem. She quietly snuck up to her front door and looked out the peephole, a wave of déjà vu washing over her. This time she didn’t see Barbara. This time it was Jeremy - alone - sitting on the stoop directly in front of her door.
The Spot Writers- our members:
Catherine A. MacKenzie
Jessica Degarmo
RC Bonitz
Val Muller
Deborah Dera

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Spot Writers Present...Cathy MacKenzie!


Chapter 7 of the continuing saga of Remy comes to us from Cathy MacKenzie. Check out her three books of short stories available on Smashwords for only $1.99 and $0.99.  https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/camack.There you can read the first story in each book for free. However, the stories are all different, so the sample stories aren't a true representation of the other stories.

Next week's chapter will come from Deborah Dera. Deborah has just recently joined the Spot Writers, and Chapter 8 will be her first contribution to the group.

***

CHAPTER 7
"No, I'd just like to go home, if you don't mind."
Sam stared at her. Remy saw his face change from an inquisitive, hopeful expression to one of mild displeasure, but she didn't care. Things were getting out of hand – or they might – if she didn't get home. Unknown texters and callers be damned. She felt safe in her condo. There were twelve units in her building, so it wasn't like she was totally alone. Her unit was on the second floor, and one needed a key to get in the main door, plus, of course, another key to gain access to her unit. She'd double-bolt the door. Yes, she'd be fine. She'd keep her cell phone close. She could dial 9-1-1 quickly.
"Okay, then, let's go," Sam said. He motioned for the waitress to bring the bill.
Once outside, Remy let out a repressed sigh. The fresh air felt cool on her face, which she knew was flushed from the extra drink. Sam was right; they were the best Long Island Iced Teas she had tasted. Usually she stuck to white wine, so the change was good.
Eleven unknown text messages? Remy repeated the words over and over in her head during the drive home. Who would have done that? Surely it wasn't Barbara. They had just met, and Barbara really had nothing to fear from her, although, of course, Barbara couldn't know that.
Remy glanced at her watch. It was after ten. She felt Sam's gaze upon her, but ignored him. As much as she had enjoyed the evening, she wished she hadn't gone out with him. He was her boss, after all, and their relationship should remain totally professional. Even though nothing untoward happened, it would be hard to remain focused the next day. In fact, work would be forever awkward. She'd always sense him watching her, wanting her. She knew his type.
Why oh why did I go with him? Remy let out a huge sigh. "Don't poop where you eat." She tried to remember where she had heard that quote.
"Hey, you okay?"
"Oh, yes. Fine. Thanks."
"My offer still stands. You're welcome to spend the night at my place. I have a guest bedroom. I promise you'll be safe."
"No, really, I'm good."
"Okay, then."
When he pulled in front of Remy's building, she grabbed her purse from the floor and opened the door.
"Thanks for dinner. And the drinks."
"Maybe I should come in with you. Just make sure everything is okay," Sam said.
"No, really. I'm fine. I have my keys right here. The lights are on. Thanks again," she said, just before shutting the door.
She bent down and gave Sam a wave.
Yikes, what am I thinking? I didn't need to wave at him. Childish.
At home, she plopped on the couch and read through the messages again. Unreal. Quickly, she deleted them – all except Jeremy's message. She wasn't sure why she didn't delete that one, but for some reason she wanted to keep it.
Sorry. We can talk when you get back.
It sounded genuine, but emails are open to interpretation. Without hesitating, she hit the delete button. He had Barbara. And a baby on the way. She didn't want to be involved in something disgusting like that.
Yes, it is disgusting, as harsh as that sounds, she thought. Remy had morals; having a baby out-of-wedlock was not part of her life's plan.
Later, in bed, while tossing and turning, all sorts of thoughts drifted through her head. She rehashed the evening with Sam – no, Dr. Kendrick. She had to keep their relationship professional. Thus far, it was just one teeny indiscretion:  an evening out. One evening out of her lifetime, and there wouldn't be any more with him.
Olympia Dukakis, that's who it is. The name came her like a thunderbolt crashing out of a clear blue sky. "Don't poop where you eat." Remy loved that expression and wished she had heeded it.
Jeremy flashed in front of her, as well. Then a screaming baby. And a cranky wife – Barbara. She dreamt of being at their wedding. She was the maid of honor, standing at the altar with two of Barbara's friends, watching as a young boy dressed in a white tuxedo wheeled in their baby daughter sleeping in a white plush wagon. After the ceremony, she offered her congratulations and kissed the bride and the groom.
When her lips brushed across Jeremy's cheek, she bolted upright to see the sun streaming through the slightly parted drapes, like it was attacking her face. She rubbed her eyes and looked at the clock. Two minutes to seven. Two more minutes until the alarm blasted. She reached over and turned it to the off position.
What a nightmare.

***
The Spot Writers- our members. You can find our Thursday posts at any of the following blogs:
Catherine A. MacKenzie
Jessica Degarmo
 RC Bonitz
 Val Muller
Deborah Dera