Keeping Cape Summer

Ocean. Sand. Long summer nights. A sexy Cape Cod escape.

What could possibly go wrong?

Keeping Cape Summer

Simon Bremmer has put war and the Army behind him. He’s living the good life stateside in Pelican Pointe. He’s doing what he loves. His business is booming. He has no complaints. But all that is about to change when he gets a visit from a Boston lawyer. She not only drops a bombshell but delivers a package he never expected.

Single mom, Gilly Grant, has given up on men. She’s trying to raise her three-year-old son by herself and deal with her mother, who has suddenly developed complicated health issues. When Simon walks into the hospital on her shift, the world as she knows it tilts toward a love she never wanted or expected.

Together these two will forge a bond that grows deeper until one night it’s all put to the ultimate test. Will Simon be able to pull Pelican Pointe back from the brink of tragedy? Will he be able to save its future? Will he be able to come through for the people he loves?

For this former sniper who’s tried so hard to put the war behind him and live a normal life, he may find it all too much, because this time everything he loves hangs in the balance.

Lavender Beach

                             There is courage in each step no matter how small.

After losing her leg in Iraq, it’s been an uphill battle for Eastlyn Parker. When Nick and Cord decide to confront her in Bakersfield, the ex-helicopter pilot reluctantly agrees that starting over in Pelican Pointe might be the only option for her. It won’t be easy though. She has other more serious problems that go beyond her low self-esteem.Lavender Beach

After a long absence, Cooper Richmond has come back to his childhood home. In an attempt to escape his own painful memories, he’s traveled the world over as a photographer. But no matter where he goes, he’s locked in an emotional void. His approach to life is merely to get by. He does that with his books and his train store and by keeping to himself.

But when Eastlyn shows up at Cooper’s shop, their brief encounter blossoms into attraction. Both are cautious. Both have trust issues. But if these two have the courage to leave behind their baggage once and for all, and set their sights on the future, there may still be hope for a happy ending.

Eighth in the award-winning Pelican Pointe Series.

spring into Pelican Pointe

While we wait for me to finish the 11th Pelican Pointe book, Keeping Cape Summer, I decided to freshen up the covers on all the books. This is where Vanessa Mendozzi comes in.

So far, Vanessa has revamped Promise Cove and Hidden Moon Bay. I’m loving the beachy, bright, summery look.Can’t wait to see what she has in store for the rest!

Thank you, Vanessa!

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thank-a-teacher Thursday

Growing up, I had some great teachers who inspired me to do more, to be more. Mrs. Lyles. Mrs. Pruitt. Mrs. Bourek. Mrs. Lawless. You get the picture. Which probably explains why I went through such a wide swing of career choices early on. It wasn’t until an 8th grade English teacher, Mrs. Brown, told me that I could really spin a story that I began to dream of a career in journalism. Did I make it? Not quite. At least not in the newspaper business. But Mrs. Brown’s initial suggestion that I had talent and her yearlong encouragement gave me hope. And from that hope, stories began to emerge. Spinning tales became more natural for me. Short stories gushed out of me I didn’t know I could write. Many a creative writing class later, here I am. So to all the teachers who planted the writing bug in me…thank you! After all this time, I still hear their echoes of optimism, their inspiration, their determination. They instilled in me a forever sense not to give up.

So take it from me, it’s never too late to thank a teacher.

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Sunday brunch and books

My turn to host the book club slash brunch today at noonish. A few may be running late due to Daylight Savings Time. We’ll wait. I’m serving a southwest breakfast bake as the main dish. The rest of the menu is salad and a bowl of fruit. For dessert…brownies, of course. For anyone who doesn’t like chocolate, there’s always a slice of sour orange pie with whipped cream. Oh my.
Southwestern Breakfast Bake

Credit: Mr. Food recipe and photo

Grab the ingredients:
  • 1 (30-ounce) package frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
  • 1/2 cups shredded Colby and Monterey Jack cheese blend
  • 1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chilies, drained
  • 1/2 of a red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
To make it happen:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9- x 13-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Arrange potatoes evenly in bottom of dish. Sprinkle with cheese, green chilies, bell pepper, and scallions.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine remaining ingredients; mix well then pour evenly over potato mixture.
  4. Bake uncovered 55 to 60 minutes, or until center is cooked through and set.

the best pug in the world

Last summer I lost my pug, Beau. He went to sleep one night  and just didn’t wake up. He’d had breathing problems in the past, but I never expected him to go so suddenly like that. The house seems empty without his little pug feet padding from room to room and his little body curling up next to mine. Walks aren’t the same.

Right away friends urged me to get another dog, a replacement, but no dog could ever take the place of a best friend like Beau. He would sit with me each time I started a book, watch me at my desk through the process right up to when I put the finishing details into its completion. If you’re curious or counting, that’s more than twenty novels during Beau’s lifetime. He’d listen patiently, he had a knack for that, as I worked out scenes and read the dialogue out loud. Maybe that’s why writing my last three books hasn’t been the same. Our time together went by too fast and even though it’s been eight months, I don’t think I’m ready yet to look for another. When and if that time comes, I might mark the anniversary of his passing by accepting another dog into my life, not a pug though. I don’t want to go through the breathing problems again. I’ll pick one from a shelter this time.  He or she won’t be a replacement. No one can ever take Beau’s place. Not even if I cloned him like Barbra Streisand did her beloved Sammie. Beau was Beau. And there will  never be another like him. But don’t worry, when I do choose another dog, I’ll shower the lucky pooch with all the love I can muster. That’s a promise.

keep the door open to long distance friends

The holidays are a perfect time to take inventory of those long-distance friendships you’ve cultivated over the years. You may not see them as often as you’d like to sit down for a cup of coffee or go outimages for a long gabfest over lunch, but it doesn’t mean you can’t nurture them along another way. As it turns out I have a whopping high percentage of people in my life who live somewhere else. I attribute this to moving around quite a bit in my early twenties and thirties.

It makes it an art to keeping these long-distance friendships alive and well even though they live hundreds of miles away from me and in some cases in another country. For me, I tend to do a lot of communicating via emails. But let’s face it, sometimes that doesn’t cut it when it comes to sitting down and catching up with friends.  Skype works, as does long Sunday afternoon phone calls. No cutting corners on this one by passing on this part. Think of it this way. If you know someone who’s traveled all over the world you have a built-in conversation. I love beff1ab2bcf0c1ba671cf073d814b48e--long-distance-friends-long-distance-quoteshearing about what life is like somewhere else.  I think we’re all curious about what’s going on where we don’t live and that’s true for people we don’t see in person very often.

So keep the door open to all kinds of communication, making sure you ask what’s happening in their neck of the woods with family and life in general. From Savannah to London or Vancouver, it’s always a pleasure to hear from my faraway friends. Come to think of it, I wouldn’t have it any other way.