Cover Reveal: Always My Hero

Drumroll please…

I’d like to introduce you to the newest hero of Scallop Shores. Ryan Pettridge. Back in high school he was the town superstar, taking the Wildcats all the way to State – and winning. He received a scholarship to UCLA. Everyone thought he was headed for the NFL. Then he hurt his knee and his football career was over before it started. Ryan spent the next thirteen years hiding in Southern California, working as an accountant, hiding behind a desk. Anything to keep from being reminded of one of his greatest loves – football.

But then his father had a stroke and Ryan was forced out of hiding. He came home to run the family hardware store. His plan was to sell the place, set his parents up for a comfortable retirement and get back to CA before drawing too much attention from the townsfolk who always treated him as a town hero. He didn’t deserve their accolades. He’d failed to become the hometown celebrity they seemed to think he was.

And of course there was Bree. He’d failed her worse than anyone else in town. He’d given her his heart and, more importantly, taken hers in return. And then he’d left, never to come back. Ryan didn’t deserve a second chance with Bree, but the more time he spent with her, the more he found himself wondering what could have been. If he could be anyone’s hero, he’d be hers. Because when the former football quarterback gave his heart to the shy bookworm whose tutoring helped keep him on the team, he gave it for life.

Coming June 29th to ereaders everywhere!

Coming June 29th to e-readers everywhere!

So what do you think? A bit of a departure from my other covers, right? When you read the book, you’ll see it ties in a lot more than you realize. 😉 Curious? Always My Hero releases June 29th from Crimson Romance.

Counting Down To Summer Vacation-Can We Stop The Clock?

Help Button“Mommy, how many days until we get out of school for the summer?”

Pshhh, ages and ages. I check the calendar. Less than six weeks. Okay, don’t panic. Don’t let them see you’re scared. Where the heck did the time go? It seems like just yesterday I was doing the ‘back-to-school’ dance all through my blissfully empty house.

Back in September I had just submitted a book proposal to my publisher. I had a clear cut schedule of the days I would write, my day to volunteer in the kids’ classrooms and a day to run errands. I had everything neatly written in a calendar. I had a system. I had a plan.But once the kids get out of school for the summer, my plan gets turned on its ear and I need to push myself that much harder to get my word count in each day.summermeme

Now don’t get me wrong. I love spending time with my kids. I’m a little obsessive about getting out of the house with them and making memories that they’ll be able to share with their own children some day. My own mother suffered from agoraphobia while I was growing up. This meant that she preferred to remain in the safety and comfort of her own home. It meant my sisters and I had to look for things to occupy us within our neighborhood. We couldn’t afford summer camps. One week out of the summer, our friends’ mom would drive us each morning to bible camp. So when my kids start to utter a whiny “I’m bored”, I probably take it a little too personally.

Last year I spent a lot of time tweaking and scheduling so that I had camps lined up for both littles–at exactly the same time. Makes sense, right? I actually got a decent amount of writing in that summer. This year I went with a different approach. I consulted the kids and let them choose the summer camps they wanted to attend, not giving a flip whose landed on what week. So, while most weeks are filled with some sort of camp (mostly of the three hour variety), only one week has them going at the same time. Which means that I’ll drop one child off for a fun day or afternoon filled with activities, socialization and some sort of take home craft to display, and one child will remain with me…bored.kidsbeingbored

Which brings me back to the ‘pushing myself’ bit. And the obsessive mom trying to make sure her kids are having fun. I wish I could say that I am flexible enough to write whenever. Midnight, and the rest of the house is asleep? No problem! But my creative brain turns on about six AM and turns off about…aw heck, five PM. So yeah, I’ll be the dork mom on the playground, sitting at the picnic table with my laptop, hoping that if my child falls off the equipment, they can drag themselves over and somehow pull me out of my scene in order to let me know we need to pack up and head to the emergency room. I’ll get hateful looks from the involved moms who remembered to pack snacks, apply sunscreen and actually chat among themselves. But the alternative is forcing my kid to find something to do at home, which gives me mommy-guilt hives that I refuse to deal with. It’s a trade off.

Will I do this every single weekday during the summer months? Heck no! They’re only young once. Just as I get obsessed about needing to fulfill my word count, I also dig in my heels and find excuses not to write. If the weather is gorgeous, I’ll pack ’em up and head to the beach. Maybe take a ferry ride across the sound. Ice cream is always a great way to make summer memories, especially if we’ve had to drive a bit to get to someplace we’ve never tried before. The zoo is always a favorite destination. All work and no play makes a dull mom. And I may come out of it with another book, but I’ll have lost the memories my kids spent making with everyone else. It’s all about striking a balance. I’m trying to let the kiddos take the reins this year and hoping that we all get what we want out of this summer vacation. And trying not to panic.

I need to embrace this quote, this summer.

I need to embrace this quote, this summer.

 

A Writer Mom’s Special Day

momsdayI was told to bring a book to bed last night, to read in the morning. I was not allowed to get up until I was served breakfast in bed. Now given that the kids know chocolate is my favorite food in the world, I was a little nervous about what to expect on my breakfast tray this morning. However, the actual menu was a lot tamer than the one I had imagined. Toast, marionberry jam and strawberries. And they figured out how to use my Keurig machine! I wish I’d had a camera to capture their expressions as they carried it in. They were so proud! I’m choosing to ignore that they put four packets of sweetener in, when I use half of one. I carried on like it was the best coffee I’d ever had. Because seeing those little faces grinning so big, it WAS the best coffee I’d ever experienced.

Nope. This was not their actual creation. ;)

Nope. This was not their actual creation. 😉

Little Guy couldn’t wait until Mother’s Day to give me my gift. At school they’d made seed paper hearts that could be planted in the soil and would grow all sorts of wildflowers. He also couldn’t wait for ME to plant my own seeds. He did it for himself yesterday, when I wasn’t looking. And then set up his own fairy garden–right.on.top. Sigh. Gotta love his enthusiasm.

Hubby thinks my restaurant choice for Mother’s Day was a bit odd. But hey, he’s a last-minute-reservations kind of guy and he was shocked that no one else had made reservations yet for this place. It’s an Irish pub in downtown Seattle, very close to Pike’s Place Market. The best part? It’s supposedly haunted! How cool is that? We’ve never been. I’m dying (is that an insensitive choice of words?) to check it out. Spirits, you’ve got a believer in your midst, come out, come out, wherever you are!

Doesn't look so scary, huh?

Doesn’t look so scary, huh?

So while today promises to be chaotic and full of adventure, I treated myself to a blissfully quiet lunch at a garden cafe yesterday, followed by a stroll through the local nursery. I snagged a Star Blooming Jasmine and a dwarf raspberry bush for my ever-growing collection of plants that may or may not live to see this time next year. And while I spent some quality time by myself (not writing!), Hubby took the kids to the mall – a place he avoids like the plague – because Big Sis told him exactly what I wanted for Mother’s Day and was able to guide him to just the right stores. God bless this 10 year old – she KNOWS how to shop! Even hubby was impressed.

Did I mention the weather was absolutely perfect?

Did I mention the weather was absolutely perfect?

All you moms out there… birth moms, adoptive moms, grandmoms, fur baby moms, moms of the heart and dads filling in as moms AND dads… all of you, enjoy your special day. Heck, enjoy every day with your loved ones. Make memories and show them all how much you love them. And now I’m weepy…again. I’m a walking Hallmark commercial today. And I’m off to have cuppa number two (with a bit less sweetener).