Friday, September 13, 2013

~ Symposium: I Put a Spell On You! ~

Hello Everyone! Welcome to my September Symposium! 

In honor of Friday the 13th, I asked my friends and fellow authors if they had any writing rituals or superstitions they follow. Find out what fun (and sometimes weird) rituals these authors have when writing!

LAURIE ROMA: Okay, everyone might think they don’t have any rituals, but we all do…even if it’s just little things. For example, in order to work on any story I have to have a good working title first or else the words just won’t come. I always have a diet coke on hand (or wine when needed) and either the TV or music on in the background. I can lose myself for hours when I’m into a scene and tend to write better at night, although this leads to the issue of me watching the sun come up and saying “Shit! What time is it?” way too often. I’m also one of crazy authors that has several WIPs at any given moment, but I prioritize based on what story I’m feeling most. 

Former IAD agent Katrina “Trinity” Cross is in desperate need of a vacation. When a friend asks for a personal favor, Trinity agrees to fly to the island of Sunset Point, only to find that things in paradise aren’t what they seem…

Jackson Stone is a man who likes regulation and order, but when Katrina Cross arrives on his island, life as he knows it'll never be the same.

Falling behind schedule is not allowed in Maxwell King’s orderly world. Missing money, cheap materials, and a dead foreman top of the list of his problems, but nothing shakes him more than the sexy siren that sets his body on fire…

As the investigation heats up, Maxwell and Jackson both fall for Trinity, but she can’t choose between the uptight corporate mogul and the rough and ready police lieutenant. Can she find a way to keep them both, or will their love become a casualty at the Cross Point?


NJ WALTERS: I didn’t think I had any writing rituals until I started to really think about it, but I do have a few. I write first thing in the morning after I check my email and social media, before the day gets too busy and my mind gets too cluttered. I slide into my chair and desk, which is in a corner of the living room and go to work. The computer I do all my writing on isn’t connected to the internet. That way I’m not tempted to do anything else but write. I need quiet to write. Music distracts my attention. I get into the zone when I write and any kind of noise pulls me out of it. I also have a mug of water next to me, but I set it on the floor beside my desk. I’m always afraid of spilling something on my keyboard.

Once upon a time, a writer woke up in the middle of her own book…

Araminta Davidson has arrived. After giving up her librarian job to be a full-time writer, all those lonely nights alone with her cat and her keyboard have paid off. She’s been invited to participate in one of the biggest reader appreciation weekends—as a professional author.

She can’t imagine her life getting any more exciting than that…until she accidentally releases a sexy, shapeshifting, immortal warrior from a five-thousand-year-old curse.

Finally free of his carousel prison, lion shifter Leander is determined not to let Hades lure him to the dark side in a quest for world domination. Nor will he give the delectable Araminta up to the clutches of the dark one. If they can survive twenty-four hours—and somehow resist losing themselves completely in the sexual haze threatening to swallow them up—the curse will be permanently broken.

But the clock is ticking, the heat is rising…and only the ultimate sacrifice will save them both.


LORIE O'CLARE: So, it's Friday the 13th and I'm sitting down to write. Now I always make sure my lavender is in porous ceramic bowls evenly spaced from me around my room. I light three orange candles and stare at each one until the flame burns strong. I stand in the middle of my room and chant:"Muse of art, Muse of thought. I summon your power and your light. Guide my hand in this creative rite." Now since I'm not superstitious, on Friday the 13th I do none of these things, since Friday the 13th was initially believed to be "irregular" and not "unlucky". I'd hate to make my muse irregular--then I'd never know when it's her time of the month!

Jarvis Alger must be out of his mind. The most despised breed of werewolf just crossed his path and she is so damn hot he can’t quit thinking about her.

Katrin Keller is actually only half Malta werewolf, a breed that endured genocide and is hated by all other werewolves. The law doesn’t care about her half-breed status, and they are after her. It’s so easy to fall for Jarvis when he doesn’t seem to care about her mixed breeding. The sex between them is so amazing she’s willing to try acts she’s never tried before.

The danger escalates, Katrin is forced to run. Jarvis runs with her, swearing to love and protect her. When their life in hiding is threatened, Jarvis assures Katrin they’ll be safe as long as she suppresses her Malta werewolf side.

Katrin is torn between the man she loves and the heritage she doesn’t want to ignore. Katrin fears she’ll have to choose between Jarvis and the very blood that runs through her. As their passion grows, Katrin is aware of one thing--she’s willing to fight for both.


ZAYNE MICHAELS: I’m not sure if you’d call it a superstition, but I tend to become overly obsessed with my titles. I can’t even begin a story unless I have a working title. I’ll likely change it half a dozen times before I finish the book, but the words just won’t flow without something on the title page. For me, the title is the starting point, and if I can’t come up with at least a temporary place holder, I stress that the story itself will crash and burn. I am, however, very superstitious where my muse is concerned. When I finish one book, I never start the next story straight away. No matter how eager I am to get started, I force myself to take at least two days to “wipe the slate clean.” Otherwise, I’m convinced I will simply be writing the same story with the names changed to protect the innocent.

Declan Collins never wanted to be a vampire. He certainly never wanted to be a pawn in his Maker’s games of cat and mouse. When their hunt for a rare and elusive breed of werewolf leads them straight to Declan’s mate, however, it’s game over.

Lincoln Chastain never imagined the infamous Red Siren would turn out to be his intended. He can’t deny the attraction between them, but nor can he allow a pretty face to distract him from his quest for retribution. 

Sometimes, things aren’t as black and white as they seem and finding the truth will come with a price. Will the secrets they discover give the mated pair the happy ending they desire? Or will the lies and greed of others destroy them before they’ve even started?


SOPHIE OAK: I suppose every writers has them. I have some odd ones and it depends on the time of day. Every day (at least five days a week) I go to my apartment. It’s about ten minutes from my house, but it gives me the solitude I need. I prefer to write in the mornings with a cup of coffee – or four. I tend to listen to either classic music or 30s and 40s music like Billie Holliday. I write in fifteen minute sprints because my arms, neck and back get really tense if I sit for too long. I keep a note pad and a gel pen (yes, it has to be a gel pen) at my side and I write down how many words I get for each fifteen minutes. I have a daily must meet count of 3000 words. If it’s nighttime? Yeah, I have to have wine. I don’t really get much done at night. But I do have fun…

What happens after happily ever after?

It’s the event of the year. The wedding of Leo and Wolf Meyer to their beautiful sub, Shelley McNamara, has all of Bliss up in arms—and makes everyone think about love and marriage and family.

Wolf and Leo have to deal with the sudden reappearance of their father. Rafe Kincaid is handed an opportunity that might take him and his family away from Bliss. Aidan, Lexi, and Lucas O’Malley find themselves at a crossroads in their marriage. And Stefan Talbot must face his biggest fear—possibly losing his wife in childbirth.

So come to the Feed Store Church, pick a seat, and enjoy the chaos as all your favorite characters from Texas Sirens and Nights in Bliss, Colorado, come together for one eventful weekend. 

And some of them may never be the same again.


FLYNN EIRE: I do like my rituals, and prepare in a way that limits the distractions. First, at the beginning of the day, I make sure I reread the last scene(s) from the day before and my leave off notes, then I walk away so I have a fresh head before the writing begins. Then when I come back, I make sure Marius’s bed is clear so he’ll lay down and leave mom alone. I’ve used the bathroom before I start, have a fresh drink, battery is charged or laptop plugged in if I’m on that computer for the day, and phone is on vibrate. I hit the timer for forty-five minutes and start. When it goes off, I finish that sentence or thought, write a couple of bullet points of what I had planned next, force myself to stop, and walk away. That way, I not only can’t wait to come back and pick up where I’ve left off, but I’ve had time to think of more without being solely focused on what I was doing...not what comes next. Like I said. I’m boring.

The youngest and one of the smallest of his malamute siblings, Chicago Niska is a computer genius with a knack for getting his virtual fingers into any system he wants. While trying to finagle his way out of one tricky situation he and his family are already in by getting information their leaders want, he stumbles across something that will bring the country, if not the world, to a crashing end. 

Now if they can just get what he found to the right people without getting killed in the process.

On the run across the country to the Paranormal Parliament in the hopes of helping all supernatural kind, he and his older brothers don’t have many options for refuge when every law enforcement agency is after them. There’s only one group in the area that has the power and protection they need to shake the heat… And it’s the one place where there seems to be a great deal of history between two of his brothers and the one vouching for them. 

But is the price for the help they need more than they’re willing to pay?

Family always comes first to Chicago, so he makes a deal with the devil, and a few vampires on the side, to get the help they need to survive the mission ahead. And after a night of passion and a fantasy come true, Chicago has allies he never dreamed of—one even willing to risk his life, joining their mission to spark a relationship with Chicago. There’s not time for love when you’re trying to save the world though… Is there?

Things never go as planned, and instead of finding the man of his dreams, Chicago realizes he might end up with a broken heart at the end of the journey. It seems silly to worry about that though when millions of lives are at stake if they don’t get the information he found to the right people. Funny how Chicago can’t seem to focus on much else given it’s his first love and his family will probably live with Aurelo’s coven… If they’re still alive by the time they reach their leaders.


SUSAN HAYES: My writing time is divided between eking out what words I can during the quiet hours of my day job, and the bulk of my time spent in my office at home. Since the only real ritual I have at work when writing is to drink coffee and glare at the phone every time it rings (inevitably during a sex scene) I’ll focus on home. My office is my sanctuary. It’s cluttered, overcrowded and filled with the trappings of my life. Books, a television that MUST be on for background noise, my cat’s perch and a lot of empty cans of Red Bull. At the foot of my desk is a shiatsu foot massager. That’s my ritual. Red Bull, massaged toes, fuzzy socks and comfy clothes. Oh yes, and cookies. If I don’t feed the muse, she’s a right bitch to deal with. I can write without these things, but  I’d rather not.

Lexa Fox lost her childhood the day her mother took her and fled Sunset Point. Twenty-three years later, she’s returning to claim her inheritance from a father she barely remembers, in a place she doesn’t belong.

Detectives Beau Rivers and Diego Mendez grew up in ménage families and always knew they’d be a trio if they could find the right woman. They’d found her once, but fate took her out of their lives long before they were old enough to stake their claim. No woman since has ever managed to live up to their memories of Lexa, so when fate brings their childhood sweetheart back into their lives, they do everything they can to convince their gray-eyed, world-weary beauty to stay.

There are dangers to be faced and enemies to overcome, but in the end it’s up to her men to show her that some hearts never give up hope, and some loves have no Breaking Point.


CHLOE LANG: Me…superstitious? I’m unashamed of the ritual I follow. What’s wrong with that? Professional sports players practice the same. What I wouldn’t give to get in the locker room and ask them what theirs are. *evil grin* I’m drifting off topic, aren’t I? Mine is simple and singular. Every morning, I first read from a plaque Sophie Oak gave me long ago. It’s a quote by Winston Churchill. “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak.” Weird? Maybe. Self-doubt is my worst enemy, but this saying helps me. Deep in my soul I’m a storyteller. I fall in love with the characters and places of my imagination. Their stories are part of me, part of my very soul. Each has been born from my experiences and those around me. Though they are flawed (as am I) they deserve happiness. I choose to be courageous and tell their stories, conquering my doubt and listening to the infinite possibilities that surround me.    

Erica Coleman’s abduction unearths painful memories from her childhood. There are evil men lurking in the shadows, hoping to crush Erica and everyone in her hometown. Brothers Dylan and Cam Strange must save her from the killers and also from her past.

Dylan’s own demons are ripping him apart from the inside out. He doesn’t believe he deserves someone as wonderful as Erica. Knowing she’s in danger, he begins teaching her to defend herself. Even though he knows it would be best to leave her, he just can’t bring himself to do it.

Cam has been in love with Erica for years. There’s no man he respects more than his brother, Dylan. He’s always believed that one day, he and Dylan would share Erica. That time has come. He senses the pain in the pair and understands the only way for them to heal is to be together—the three of them.

Will this trio choose love or will evil triumph destroying them all?


LEA BARRYMIRE: I wish I had a ritual. It's more like a mad dash to some location within the house where the feral kidlets can't find me. :) Once I'm hidden behind a locked or barricaded door I usually pull out the good ol' laptop and hope I have enough time to open the doc before the first knocks start. Okay, it isn't that bad, but it feels like it. I don't do anything specific when I write, but if I hit a rough point or the muse isn't talking I take a trip the store. I need Twizzlers and Diet Coke to loosen the tongue of my fickle muse sometimes. If it really goes south I grab a bag of peanut butter M&M's. That little bit of chocolate and candy shell does the trick most of the time.

Fated Mates, Incorporated- The premiere dating service company. They promise to find that perfect someone within three pairings.

Alicia prides herself on the chocolate confections she creates. But running her own business leaves her lonely. When someone pays for her to have a month's services from Fated Mates, Inc. she can't pass up the opportunity and waits impatiently for her first match to contact her.

When Justin walks into her store, Sweet Success, she can't help but melt like the finest of Belgian chocolates.

Naughtiness abounds with melted chocolate, sprinkles and other sticky fun...


MELODY SNOW MONROE: At the top of each manuscript, I have not only the names of all the characters in my book (so I don’t forget and call the hero Gabe in one chapter and Gage in the next—not that I’ve done that—hangs head in shame), but each day I list my word count. Throughout the day I add to it. Actually, I’m quite obsessive. I write a page or two, check the word count, and change my total. My goal is usually 4000 words and they get added about 250 words at a time. I find that when I break my goal into tiny bite size pieces it’s easy—or rather easier. 

Military man Harper Anderson should be able to control himself. Hell, his life depended on it many times. But Holly Morganton is so damn caring and sexy that she makes him lose all sense of what’s right and wrong. She’s a siren who’s tempting him to forget his love for his murdered wife—and he hates that.

Conner Gillespie, Harper’s cousin and casino co-owner, knows Holly is the perfect woman for them. While she’s shy about her lack of curves, she’s a listener, and he’s certain she’s the one to show Harper that life’s worth living again.

Holly, a computer geek, is blown away by the fact that two hunky casino owners find her attractive, so why then does Harper keep pushing her away when she tries to help him move on? When they take her passion to new heights, she vows to do whatever it takes to earn their love.


TATUM THRONE: *excited waves* Thanks for having me on today, Laurie! I’m a creature of habit when it comes to writing. I grab my coffee, drop the boys at school, and I’m at my desk by 9:00 a.m. It is a ritual that I rarely deviate from. If I do, it’s due to my boys needing me. I love having noise on in the background as I work. Usually, it’s live court drama. I love a real life story of seduction and betrayal. I am superstitious. I love it when a place I visit has a magical feel. Especially, when I see and feel a story unfold within my mind. I’m not a big believer in coincidence. I love the idea that fate nudges us in the right direction. Listen to me! Nudges! *laughs* Sometimes we’re given a swift kick in the butt!

As an American Sign Language interpreter and certified expert in nonverbal communication, Cole Vanstone’s job is to facilitate communication for a SWAT instructor. Life suddenly changes when he’s thrown into a SWAT standoff as lead negotiator. Forced to make a call in the field he’s unprepared for, Cole knows he’s in over his head.

Master K-9 Officer and tactical instructor Bane Duncan’s job is to train Cole for future SWAT interactions. Bane quickly discovers that there is nothing ordinary about Cole. He’s smart, sexy, cocky, and completely alone. Bane is a Dom, and he wants Cole as his sub.

Cole can’t hide how he feels about Bane when they are together, but he’s not about to make the first move. One fiery kiss leads to an affair that spins both of their lives out of control. Cole has fallen for Bane, but knows they can never be together. Will Cole tell Bane how he feels before it’s too late?


HENNESSEE ANDREWS: Wow, what a day! I am not superstitious when writing, but I do have certain rituals I follow. First, I don’t write with the lights on. No, no light except for my computer screen. I think this allows me to focus on what’s important, or maybe I just like the dark. Second, I write most when the world is asleep, especially in my own house! Third, I sit back and summon my characters while taking a deep, relaxing breath. I try to clear my mind of the daily clutter; kids, housework, you name it, I clear it. Of course I have a favorite beverage, depending on the day of the week. Friday calls for the works and my muse is quite active!

Being sequestered on Sunset Point Island is the least of Lane Erikson’s worries. Being a witness to a murder may be her demise. What does one do when a network of FBI wanted criminals are looking to kill you? You run like hell, even it’s to a place you’ve never heard of. 

Dane Hutchinson, local tattoo artist, sets his sights on winning Lane’s affection and sharing her with Bannock Garrison, Sunset Point police officer. Bannock never wanted a ménage relationship, even though his parents have lived a happy life in one. The idea of sharing a woman bothers him, but losing Dane’s friendship bothers him more. 

As the relationship begins to soar with possibilities, Lane is faced with her world crashing down again and her life hangs in the balance. Can Bannock and his colleagues save the day? More importantly, can Bannock overcome his distrust for women and allow Lane into his heart and share her with his best friend?


ERIKA REED: It’s funny to see all the different quirks and rituals authors have when they write. I myself have to have the house quiet in order to concentrate without distractions. After my daughters have gone to school and my husband has left for work, I can then sit down in the office with my laptop and get into my current WIP. I enjoy listening to soft rock music playing in the background of my living room, so it’s not too loud as I write. I like to have a glass of some type of an iced drink on my desk, with a lid and straw, so I don’t spill. I make sure that my iPad is next to me in case I have to look something up. If I need a little inspiration, I may send a text or a naughty picture to my husband at work. *wink* 

When Amber Green is offered a new job and a chance to move to a tropical paradise, she says yes and packs her bags, leaving her old life behind. Or so she thinks…

Millionaire Reid Sullivan is a widower who is immediately intrigued by Amber, and offers the beautiful woman a job to work for him as his live-in housekeeper after hearing she needs a place to stay.

Dante DeSoto is a hard-ass detective from Chicago whose investigation leads him to Sunset Point after the sudden death of Amber’s ex-boyfriend. Upon meeting the gentle beauty, he is convinced of Amber's innocence. Dante decides to stay on the island so that he and Reid can help protect her.

Both men want Amber, but they’re going to have to find a way to share. With old demons and new dangers dogging them every step of the way, the three lovers will have to fight for the happily ever after they long to share.


SHAE SHANNON: Hello and thank you to the awesomely super dooper sweet Laurie for including me!  This topic is great.  Unfortunately, My writing rituals have no cool features like Voo Doo dolls, Tarot cards, or rubbing the belly of a fat and still humorous-after-all-these-years troll dolls.  With three kids and husband, writing time is mostly late at night.  The only items that I have to have are my Tigger pillow pet and a soft spot perched in the corner of the couch.  On those nights my muse wants to be a catty witch and not cooperate, I find a glass of wine, or for those more stubborn nights a Captain and Coke work great to get the words flowing.  Sex scenes are a little different.  I CAN NOT write hot sex while I am on my “woman time”.  That week is specifically reserved for fight scenes and violent bad guy characters only.  And, the time I regret not owning an actual Voo Doo doll…. 

EmmaLee Anderson has grown up in a small town. Her family life was rough growing up, and the Dennison’s immediately took her in as one of their own. The boys had always come to her rescue, and ran off every boy within a 500 mile radius. They were the big brothers she never had.

Bad luck finally gets the best of EmmaLee. When things look hopeless and impossible, her knights in black Stetsons waltz in and fix the world by taking her back to the ranch where she belongs. What they hadn’t anticipated was the sexy woman she had become that replaced the gawky, lanky girl they had grown up with.

When temperatures rise and feelings bubble to the surface, Jase, Lyndon, and Dixon fight an inner battle of what is right and what they want.

One night out sends a bad relationship to smack her in the face, literally. After a little ‘counsling’ session by the Dennison clan, they assume he has learned the error of his ways. Revenge comes back in a nasty, sick plan of murder and kidnapping, threatening the one they hold dearest. The boys round up the family in a manhunt of vengeance and guns to save their country princess.

Can she pull through from the brutal beating and win the love of the three that have captured her heart since pig tails and mud pies?


DIXIE LYNN DWYER: I suppose if I analyze some of my little habits before beginning a new manuscript, I could see them as superstitions or just plain obsessive- compulsive behavior. Before every story begins, an idea emerges. Believe it or not, I can picture exactly what my heroes must look like, right down to their facial expressions, and quirky little habits. The slightly lazy eye while they’re taking in the sight of their woman for the very first time. The twitch of their lips as they bite their tongue while dirty little ideas run rampant through their sexy heads. And so I search for them. I find their picture, tweak them best I can when they aren’t perfect, and enhance them in the story. I close my eyes and envision my characters in my head, and feel the depth of their emotions. I pin those pictures up on the wall and glance at them, imagining them in action as I describe their moves. Add in a bowl of M&M candies, a cup of coffee in the morning, a glass of red wine in the evening, set on their special coasters, and I’m ready to get down and dirty with the keyboard…. “Dixie Style”.

Nash and Riker blame themselves for their lover’s death after losing her during an investigation. Now retired Federal Agents and entrepreneurs, they’re billionaires, and their club is turning into a dive. They try to fill their empty hearts with money, women, and even alcohol, but it’s no use, they can’t let go of the past.

Chastity Malone is hired to help Riker and Nash Riley, two sexy twins with attitude. She’s reserved and untrusting, with a past and heartache of her own. By coincidence, their pasts collide, bringing them trouble and testing their fate in one another.

Chastity is threatened and assaulted. She is submerged in a web of lies by coincidence.

Riker and Nate must forget about the past and filter through the lies to save the one woman that completes them. But they didn’t count on one obsessed ex lover, an unsolved case, challenges to their faith, and a woman so strong, so determined to prove her innocence, she’s ready to die to prove it.


MARLA MONROE: When it comes to writing, I’ve been blessed to never have a lack of something to write. In fact, I can’t stop it long enough to get it all down. I usually keep two to three manuscripts open at all times and a blank page just for those ideas that crop up in the middle of something it doesn’t belong in. I can write just about anywhere as long as I have a measure of quiet. I can’t listen to music because then I get an idea from it that sends me off in another direction and I’d never get anything done. I have to keep my blinds closed on my window so I don’t get caught up in the hunting practices of my cats or start thinking about what devious things my across the street neighbor is up to. Give me my hunky man pics and a comfortable chair and I’m set to go.

What will it take for three strong personalities to learn to give in a little and let love work its magic? Alpha’s newest family is about to find out. Jeff Davis and Scott Tibbs’s new wife has finally arrived, and after years of waiting, neither man is ready to give over their control.

Megan Turner has struggled all her life to get people to take her seriously. As one of the youngest female members of the elite scientific community working on the problems plaguing a dying Earth, she’s fought to get her ideas and solutions recognized. Now she is finally on planet Alpha with her new husbands and feels as if her fight has only just begun.

Between trying to acclimate to a new way of life and learning about her new husbands, Megan feels ill prepared. With the various strange illnesses and injuries the people of Alpha have had to deal with, they are also finding that their children are not at all what they seem.


JAN BOWLES: I usually write first thing in the morning, but before I can do anything I have to drink two cups of HOT tea. My mind just won't function without them! Once I've finished a writing session, I make sure I have the file containing my WIP stashed safely away. I send it to Dropbox - an online storage place, and also to two USB devices plugged permanently into my computer. My laptop may look like it has been infested by weird aliens who are sucking the life from it, but I have to make sure that I don't lose anything. Losing a file with days and days of work is my worst nightmare. I lost a whole plot outline for a new story once, and I don't want that happening again. I'm guessing I'm not the only one going overboard on saving their manuscript. Words are an authors blood, sweat, and tears, and we can't afford to lose any of them.

At thirty-six, Cole Rossi has found the perfect submissive in Jessica Summers. The twenty-eight-year-old beauty is sexy, witty, and more than a little mischievous. She has been his to worship, discipline, and adore for the last three years, and he can't imagine life without her. 

Master Cole is everything Jessica could possibly wish for in a dominant. He’s powerful and caring, and has placed his diamond collar around her neck as a symbol of his love, respect, and commitment to her. 

However, when Quinn Sutherland, Jessica’s former master, returns to Club Submission for the first time in four years, their idyllic D/s relationship is thrown into turmoil. There was always bad blood between the two men, and Cole is well aware that nothing would give his nemesis more pleasure than taking Jessica from him.

Unsettled by events, Cole uses tough love to resolve the situation. Will his strategy work, or will it backfire and drive Jessica straight into the arms of his bitter rival?


TYMBER DALTON: Because I have tinnitus, music—or some sort of background sound like the TV turned to the weather radar—is a must. When I’m working on a new WIP I like to have a candle lit and sometimes include incense as well, depending on my mood. And I have to have my Disney Stitch mug with my hot tea in it. My desk is situated in front of a window overlooking my back yard, although I can write anywhere if I have to. And I use Scrivener for writing, which includes a target counter. I like to hit my minimum target on word count every day, and if I don’t it reeeeallly bugs me. I do use several spiral notebooks for making initial story notes longhand, but I don’t do my writing longhand.

Sarah’s world shatters when her husband is killed in the wreck that injures her young son, Jason. Worse, Sarah discovers painful betrayals that make remaining in New York City with her hateful mother-in-law impossible. Moving home to Florida to live with her widowed father is their only option.

You can go home again, but it’s not the home she remembers. The hunky next door neighbors are also her new employers, cousins Sam and Pete Hope. She went to school with the men, but they’re all grown up. It’s soon clear they have their sights set on winning her heart.

Unfortunately, her mother-in-law doesn’t give up quite so easily. She’s determined to get Sarah and Jason back to New York by any means necessary. Despite an escape-artist steer nicknamed Moodini, asshole ninja assassin pet goats, and learning how to love again, Sarah rebuilds her and Jason’s lives and soon discovers that, just maybe, two Hopes can heal her heart better than one.  



  1. Laurie, this was so fun. I enjoyed reading everyone's writing practices. Thanks for including me. Chloe

  2. Thank you for having me on the symposium today! XO sweetie!

  3. I always love reading these! This time I was relieved to discover that I'm not alone in my quirks and rituals. Thanks for having me, Laurie. *swak*

  4. What a great question and I'm loving the authors answers. And Laurie, what a wonderful name you have ;)

  5. Fun post. I found myself nodding as I read these since I possess some of the same quirks.