Monday, August 25, 2014

Cover Reveal for Cleo's Book!

   Okay my friends, I know this day has been a long time coming but I'm here to announce the title and show you the awesome cover for Cleo's book. Everyone was so kind with their title suggestions but I've decided to go with:  
A Passion For Cleo.  I couldn't see where anyone had suggested that, but if you did, send me a screen shot and I'll send you a free e-book. 
What do you think of the cover?

   Do you know how hard it is to get a cover with a hot Samoan guy and a blond? Not easy people, but I think this cover does Cleo's story justice. And yes, the cover tells you which guy she goes for. Poor Asher

   So the next question I'm sure you have is - When will the book be live??  Good question. The book is done, but it's going through the editing process right now. So I'm hoping for sometime next week. I know! I'm sorry it's not live right now, but I want you to be happy in the end so we're all just going to have to be patient. 
   Also, while I have you here, check out this amazing review for Dreaming of Ivy. LOVE it!

5.0 out of 5 stars Ivy finds out who she is!August 21, 2014
I gave this book 5 stars because it is everything I want in a summer read. It is believable, has characters with real problems--that are trying hard to work them out. This book deals with PTSD, OCD, Eating Disorders just to name a few. I do love how Shannon deals with these problems in the context of the story. She tries to bring them front and center--so the characters will get the help they want and need. She does an amazing job of keeping it real---not so real you think you are reading your Psyc textbook. But the audience's understanding of these mental illnesses is broadened. The more we know the more we understand and the more we understand the better we can interact with someone suffering.
So all of that just lets me understand the characters a little better. I have come to love Ivy--she has a great sense of humor, to her credit. She is working hard at what she wants to become. Amazing Beckett has his own set of behaviors he needs to come to terms with, as in real life we all have work to do!
I like that about Shannon's characters, they are like us with all our insecurities and imperfections--we work on them just as Shannon's characters do. Could one be written about me?? or you?? or any normal person?? Makes on wonder.
This 2nd book in the trilogy introduces some new players, Graham whom I had pegged for the villain from page one--now I am not so sure! The more I know about Asher the less I like him. I do love Kai the new bodyguard. What I really want to know is who are the bad guys???? Summer is almost over Shannon so chain yourself to your writing desk and give us book 3, I need it! And by the way you are awesome Shannon!!

Monday, August 11, 2014

First Chapter of Cleo's Book - You know, just in case you were interested

   I know you guys are dying for an update on Cleo's story, so here's the deal. With school starting next week and everything else going on, I've sort of been slacking on writing. My original plan was for it to be live this week. 

   Yeah, that's not happening. But the good news is: I'm super close! I still don't have a title for my book yet, so if you have any ideas, please pass them along. The person who comes up with the title gets a free copy if that's an incentive. And because I'm feeling guilty and I don't want you guys to be mad at me, here is the first chapter. Tell me what you think!

Chapter 1- The Secret Weapon

                Cleo stared at her crutches and then slowly leaned them against the wall. She could do this. She took a few careful, slow steps around her room and felt the immediate ache. The cast on her leg was coming off later that afternoon, but her pelvis would take longer to heal. She’d need to take things slow. Very slow and use her crutches to keep her weight off. 
            Cleo frowned and shuffled back towards her crutches. No use being stupid and pushing herself and then having to add more time on to her recovery.  She slipped her crutches under her arms and walked over to the window.  The crew was out early today pouring the cement for the lap pool Rayne and Ivy were so excited about.  If had been her, she’d have gone for the all-out family sized pool so they could have a party or something. Maybe grill some burgers and dogs. That way they could invite the landscaping crew over, she thought with a grin.
            She was about to go out of her mind with boredom.  Cleo sighed and pushed her long blond hair over her shoulder.  Now that she wasn’t actually guarding Rayne and Ivy, she felt completely useless.  Her life back in San Diego had been busy, fun and exciting. Now that she was out of commission, she felt like a dying slug. A useless, dying slug at that.  With Sharon and Tai watching over Rayne and Ivy, she might as well go home. 
            She knew Rayne was still paying her, but that didn’t sit well with her at all.  She was being paid for doing nothing. Rayne had politely and very firmly insisted though. When she’d tried to talk to Ivy about it, Ivy had just held up her hand with a glare and said that since she’d been injured while on duty, they would take care of her and she didn’t want to hear another word about it.
            That was one thing the Nyman sister’s had in common. Stubbornness.  Well, that and the ability to attract incredibly gorgeous men. Cleo sighed and leaned her head against the cool glass window and felt the self-pity wrap around her.  But who could blame her? Watching Garrett fall for Rayne had been sweet and romantic. But then watching Asher and Becket fight over Ivy had made her feel a little pathetic.
            She was happy for Ivy. Ecstatic really. Sort of.  Becket was beautiful and so perfect for her.  And she really was glad that Ivy was finally finding a little bit of happy to hold onto. Poor kid deserved it after being raised the way she had. But the fact was, she had liked Asher. A lot. And watching Asher make a fool of himself over Ivy had done a lot of damage to her self-confidence.
            She’d grown up being independent, athletic and surrounded by boys always fighting for her attention. She’d gotten so used to boys making fools of themselves over her, that when the one boy she did want, didn’t want her back, she wasn’t sure how to handle it.
            That, on top of the accident, and here she was feeling unattractive, unwanted and left out.  Since Rayne had come back married to Garrett, all the excitement now surrounded Ivy’s upcoming wedding. Both Ivy and Becket wanted to keep it small and intimate which made sense since neither one had any family to speak of. Becket was inviting his grandmother and Ivy just wanted her, Rayne and Garrett and all of the friends they’d made since moving to Fircrest.
            Cleo winced, wondering how Asher was going to take the news that he wasn’t invited to the wedding. Probably not well.  He wasn’t taking anything well lately.  When he’d found out Ivy was going back to Becket, he’d fired her from the band and even Garrett had been disgusted by that. 
            Things had been very awkward between the two brothers lately and she wasn’t sure what was going on, but whatever it was, it was bothering Rayne.  Rayne lived with Garrett at his house now that they was married, but she still ended up at their house with her and Ivy most days so she could be with her flowers and her sister.
            Cleo sighed and stood up, moving towards her door.  Her bedroom was now on the main floor so she wouldn’t have to deal with the stairs.  She nudged her door open with her toe and walked down the narrow hallway to the kitchen where she could hear someone already up and making breakfast.  She hoped it was Tai. That man could cook like a dream.
            Cleo smiled and knew that Tai did everything well.  He was the perfect guy.  Too perfect for her, that was for sure.  Most of the guys she dated back in California had been hipsters that would come to her yoga classes and ask her out for dates involving Kombucha and something with Kale.  Most of them had beards, wore plaid and were against using deodorant for some reason. But she always enjoyed their company and at least they were never boring.
            Now Tai, he was the opposite of boring. She walked through the doorway and paused as a grin lit up her face. Tai was making his famous egg sandwiches they all adored and was wearing one of Rayne’s grandmother’s old, lacy yellow aprons. He looked darling.
            And hot.
            Cleo shook her head, trying to get rid of the stray, slightly inappropriate thought.  It wasn’t a good idea to entertain ideas about their favorite body guard.  Although the man was a seasoned flirt, he’d never once made a serious play for her.  She frowned slightly as she studied the tall, strong Samoan man who had become an important member of their household in such a short time.  His light brown skin, black hair and strong bone structure could send unsuspecting women into shock. She’d seen it. Heck, she’d experienced it. She still experienced it. But he treated all women the same. He flirted with them all and did his best to make every woman he came in contact with feel beautiful and special.
            True, he went the extra mile with her. She knew Rayne and Ivy thought Tai liked her but she knew the truth. He was just trying to make her feel better. She was a pity flirt. Cleo felt slightly sick to her stomach at the thought, but pasted a bright smile on her face as she moved further into the kitchen. It wouldn’t do to have him turn around and find her staring at him with yearning in her eyes. Nope, not her. She had too much pride for that.
            “How did you know I was craving one of your egg sandwiches?” she asked lightly as Tai turned around and grinned at her, his eyes lighting up and crinkling at the edges.
            “Because you always crave my egg sandwiches. And you’re just in time for the first one. Have a seat, Beautiful and let me serve you,” he said solicitously as he brought a plate over to the table.
            Cleo blushed and shook her head. “You’re ruining me for all other men, Tai. You’re going to have to start acting like a cocky jerk soon or I’m going to start a fan club,” she said, smiling at him easily.
            Tai laughed. “Is that so? Are you finally declaring your feelings for me, Cleo?” he asked, his warm brown eyes, now melting as they looked down at her.
            Cleo cleared her throat and bit her lip. She loved flirting with Tai. She lived for it, to be honest. It was the highlight of her depressing life right now, but he could always out-flirt her and sometimes she was left tongue tied.
            “Let’s just say if you keep making me egg sandwiches every morning, you’re going to have to get a restraining order,” she said, very proud of her comeback.
            Tai smiled crookedly at her and pulled a chair up, sitting down next to her while she took the first delicious bite. “A restraining order, huh? Now, why would I want to restrain you?” he asked, his voice going low and deep.
            Cleo choked on her bite and stared at Tai, her eyes watering as she grabbed her glass of milk.  Tai grinned at her and stood up as Ivy walked in, looking refreshed and happy.
            “Tai! I love you, I love you, I love you,” she shouted, hugging him hard as he began making her an egg sandwich too.
            “See Cleo, now that’s how to express your feelings. See how easy it is?” he said over his shoulder.
            Cleo laughed lightly and took a big bite to hide her embarrassment. Ivy narrowed her eyes and glanced between her and Tai suspiciously.
            “Is our little Cleo having feelings that I should know about?” Ivy asked as she poured herself some orange juice.
            Tai nodded his head as he slipped two pieces of toast into the toaster. “You’ll have to ask Cleo. The only thing she’ll admit to is having feelings strong enough to warrant a restraining order. I find that kind of vague myself. I’m the type of man who appreciates the direct approach.  What does Becket like, Ivy? Does he like it when you’re mysterious, or does he appreciate it more when you just come out and say, hey Becket, I love you. You’re amazing.”
            Ivy grinned, sighing happily as she sat down next to Cleo and kicked her feet up on the opposite chair. “You know Becket. He likes things short and to the point. I absolutely love that man,” she said with feeling, as she closed her eyes and tilted her head back.
            “You better be talking about me.”
            Cleo whipped her head around at the low, gruff voice that could only be Becket’s and laughed as Ivy turned red.
            “I thought you were going to be working in Tacoma today,” Ivy said, standing up and walking into her fiancĂ©’s arms.
            Becket leaned down and kissed her, his lips still turned up in a smile. “I was, but Garrett texted me and wanted to meet me here.”
            Tai brought over Ivy’s sandwich and gestured to the backyard. “He’s out in back talking to the concrete guys. And uh, Asher’s out there too,” he added, sounding grim.
            Cleo winced and took another bite as she watched Becket’s smile fade and his eyes turn hard. She never wanted Becket to look at her like that. It sent chills up her spine.  If she were Asher, she’d be very careful about making Becket mad.  Asher had done his best to come in between Becket and Ivy and Becket hadn’t appreciated it at all.  Ivy had told her that Becket was planning on quitting Murphy’s Landscaping just as soon as Garrett could find another crew to take over the heavy jobs.
            “I’ll just head out then,” he said quietly and touched Ivy on the cheek before walking out the backdoor.
            Ivy frowned and shook her head. “Let’s all say a prayer for Asher’s life right now.”
            Tai bowed his head along with Ivy so Cleo did the same although she refused to pray for Asher.  He deserved whatever Becket wanted to do with him. The idiot.
            Ivy sighed and took a bite of her sandwich, immediately smiling. “Oh this is amazing, Tai. You should open up a diner. I swear you’d be a success in less than a month if you had these on the menu.”
            Tai grinned and shrugged as he turned back to make himself one. “I’ve actually thought about it.  My dad wants me to take over the construction company when he retires in ten years but it’s not my thing. It doesn’t bring me all the joy that cooking does.”
            Cleo smiled and took a sip of her milk.  “I didn’t know you wanted to be a chef like Kam. That’s great.”
            Tai shook his head. “Nah, not like Kam. Like me.  He’s all about fine dining. I’m all about comfort food that makes people happy.”
            Ivy licked her lips.  “Tai’s Diner. I like the sound of that.  You should seriously think about it.”
            Tai shrugged and slipped two more pieces of bread in the toaster.  “Actually, with all of the money I’m earning guarding you and Rayne, I’m getting pretty close to having a down payment.  I’d still need a small business loan, but yeah, I’m thinking about it.”
            Cleo and Ivy shared gleeful glances and high fived each other.  Ivy cleared her throat and crossed her legs nonchalantly. “You know, I hear those small business loans can be a pain to get.  What if you had a financial backer though who didn’t make you jump through twenty-million hoops?”
            Tai sighed. “Yeah and tell the Easter Bunny and Santa Clause I said hi. It’s going to be hard, but I think I have a chance.”
            Ivy threw a dish towel at Tai’s back and he turned around in surprise. “What?”
            Ivy laughed. “I could be your financial backer!”
            Tai stared at her in surprise, his eyes going wide with hope but then he shook his head. “No, Ivy. I don’t want to take advantage of our friendship. You’ve already done too much for me as it is. You pay me way too much and you know it.”
            Ivy snorted and took another bite. “It’s done. But I will insist that you name something on the menu after me and Becket. And maybe our first child too,” she added thoughtfully.
            Tai laughed and shook his head. He began to say something else but stopped as he stared at something out the window.
            “That doesn’t look good,” he said, moving the hot pan off the burner.
            Cleo and Ivy frowned at each other before Ivy jumped out of her chair and hurried to Tai’s side, going up on her tippy toes to see what he was looking at.
            “Oh, crud,” Ivy whispered, holding onto Tai’s arm.
            Cleo grabbed her crutches and moved slowly toward the door. “Forget the window.  I’m going to find out what’s going on,” she said and opened the back door and walked out onto the back porch where she was immediately surrounding by the dogs.
            Within seconds, Tai and Ivy were standing next to her.  The concrete crew had been given a break and were making their way to the trucks.  Right next to the pool, where the newly poured cement was gleaming and smooth, stood Garrett, Asher and Becket. And none of them looked happy.
            “This has been brewing for weeks,” Tai said under his breath.
            Cleo nodded her head. “I hope Becket punches Asher,” she said jokingly, although she wasn’t sure she was joking.
            Ivy bit her lip and held onto her arm. “I hate this,” she whispered vehemently.
            Cleo shushed her so she could hear what was being said. Garrett was shaking his head and put his hands on his hips.
            “I didn’t want to do this here, but the office is being painted this week.  I’ve been thinking for the past few weeks about everything that Becket has told me about what happened while Rayne and I were gone.  And Asher, I’ve listened to your side of things too,” he added quickly as Asher’s face turned red and his mouth tightened.
            Becket held up his hands. “Forget it, Garrett.  I already know what you’re going to say. I knew what you were going to say when I told Asher it was him or me. I’ve already moved on, like I told you. I’m just sticking around until you can find a new crew.”
            Garrett glared at the ground and shook his head.  “Shut up, Beck.”
            Ivy gasped lightly and covered her mouth with her hand. Cleo winced and looked up at Tai. Tai glanced at her worriedly and his hand went for his cellphone.  “Man, if I have to call the cops, this is going to suck,” he whispered.
            Becket froze, his hands turning into fists by his side as Asher ran a hand through his hair. “Garrett, I don’t even know why I’m even here. Fire him and be done with it. Why make it into a big production? So what, Becket wants to leave? Who cares? It’s not like we need him.  There are three other companies we can sub out our big work to. Good riddance I say,” he said coldly, glaring at Becket.
            Ivy groaned and hid her face in Cleo’s shoulder. “Please tell me when it’s over,” she whispered.
            Cleo swallowed sickly at the look on Becket’s face. Murderous would be putting it kindly.
            Garrett shook his head and pointed at Asher. “You can shut up, too.”
            Asher stared at his brother in shock. “Excuse me?”
            Garrett looked down at his feet for a second and then sighed loudly. “I’ve listened to you both. I’ve talked to Ivy and Cleo and Tai about everything and from what it sounds like Asher, you’re the one in the wrong here.”
            Becket’s look of stunned surprise almost perfectly matched Asher’s look of shock.
            “You can’t be serious,” Asher sputtered, pointing at Becket.  “He stole Ivy from me. He’s never respected me and he didn’t even care that I loved her. He just walked right in and stole her from me. How can you take his side, Garrett?” Asher asked, his voice wavering.
            Garrett stared at his younger brother with sadness. “All I can hear you saying is me, me me. Asher, you’re the one who didn’t respect Becket. You’re the one who didn’t respect Ivy’s feelings. You’re the one who has to go. I love you, Ash. But I’m giving you two weeks’ notice. That’s plenty of time to line up a new job. I’ll put in a good word for you and ask around. I’m sure someone’s hiring.”
            Cleo’s mouth fell open as she stared at the scene in front of her. No one had seen that coming. Least of all Asher. Asher’s face had gone pale and she could see even from a distance that his hands were shaking. This was not good.
            “Are you joking?” Asher demanded, his voice rising as his shock was quickly turning to anger. “I’m your brother! He’s nothing. He’s just a friend. How can you turn your back on me?”
            Garrett ran a hand over his short hair and stared miserably at his brother. “I thought I had raised you to be a man Asher, but you blame all of your problems on everyone else. You can’t go through life not taking responsibility for your actions. I wouldn’t be a good brother if I let you stay and let Becket walk. It wouldn’t be fair. This is the only honorable thing to do, Ash. I know someday you’ll understand.”
            Asher’s mouth moved, but no words came out. After a minute he shook his head. “I’m your brother,” he whispered.
            Garrett finally looked at Becket and smiled slightly. “Yeah, and I’m lucky to have two. Becket’s just as much my brother as you are.”
            Cleo watched as Asher turned and walked away without another word, disappearing around the side of the house. She saw a glimpse of his face and felt her heart ache at the pain she saw there. Ivy’s grip on her arm had her turning back to Garrett and Becket just in time to see Garrett pull Becket into a big hug.  Becket pounded Garrett on the back and surprised her by wiping something from under his eye.
            Tai smiled slightly and put his arm around Ivy’s shoulder. “That was actually kind of beautiful,” he said softly.
            Ivy sniffed and nodded her head. Cleo grinned as the two men hugged each other again and Garrett slapped Becket on the back.
            “You’re hiring the new accountant though, not me,” Garrett said, his voice sounding rough.
            Becket nodded his head. “I know this guy. You’ll love him. His name is Pule Matafeo.”
            Garrett erupted in a shout of laughter and Becket grinned as the men walked towards the trucks.
            Cleo glanced at Tai and noticed his wince. “I’m guessing that was a joke.”
            Tai sighed and opened the back door for them. “Yeah, I picked up on that,” he said dryly as they went back to their breakfast.
            They finished their breakfast quietly as each of them thought over what they’d witnessed.  Cleo finally broke the silence and pushed her plate away.
            “So what do you think Asher is going to do? And more importantly, will this ruin his relationship with Garrett?” she asked, looking back and forth between Ivy and Tai.
            Tai shrugged and looked at Ivy. “It’ll be hard at first but after Asher gets a new job and things calm down I bet he and Garrett work things out. Garrett loves that guy more than his life. He’s doing the right thing, but yeah, Asher’s going to be mad for a while.”
            Ivy nodded her head, sighing loudly as she finished her juice.  “That guy can hold a grudge. I mean, he fired me from the band and hasn’t spoken to me since.  I hate that he’s hurting, but honestly? He really needs to grow up. Maybe this is exactly what he needs to open his eyes.”
            Cleo pursed her lips. “Well, from what I just saw out there, it’s going to take decades.”
            Ivy frowned at that but then sat up straight, her eyes going big and round. “Not unless we speed things up.”
            Tai raised an eyebrow. “Watch out, Cleo. She has that look on her face.”
            Cleo winced. “Ivy, just stay out of it. This is between Garrett and Asher. This is none of our business.”
            Ivy shook her head. “They’re family now. Come on Tai, if you had a brother who needed help, or even Pule, wouldn’t you step in and help things along?”
            Tai stood up and picked up their dishes. “We’re talking Matafeos and Murphys here. Two different families. Too different to compare, sweetheart.”
            Ivy laughed and stood up as Rayne walked in looking tense. Rayne put her purse on the table and collapsed in Ivy’s vacated chair.
            “Garrett just told me outside that he fired Asher,” she said, sounding shocked.
            Cleo reached over and patted her hand. “We know. We saw the whole thing from the back porch. Sweetie, it’s going to be okay. Asher will calm down eventually and things will go back to normal.”
            Rayne bit her lip and looked at Ivy. “I know Garrett did the right thing, but it’s killing him,” she whispered.
            Ivy walked over and hugged Rayne. “First things first. You need one of Tai’s egg sandwiches. And then, I’ll tell you my plan.”
            Cleo groaned and leaned her head on her arms. “Ivy, not everything can be cured with Belinda’s cupcakes.”

            Ivy grinned. “You’re right. Forget the cupcakes. We’re going to use our secret weapon. You.”

*Copyrighted Material*

Monday, July 28, 2014

   Many things to talk about today!  First off, I'd like to let you know that Cleo's book is coming along. I'm even tempted to share the first chapter with you. Let me think about it . . .  Also, I wanted to let you know that Dreaming of Ivy is now available in paperback! Yeah, really. Here's the link.  But mostly, I just wanted to play - Cast that Movie! Come on, you know it's fun.

   But it can be a lot of work, so I'm going to need your help. On my last trilogy, you guys kind of outdid me. I'm a big enough person to admit it. My casting skills are not what they should be, but I will do my best. 

   To begin. Falling for Rayne. Now Rayne is one of my favorite characters, she's smart, talented yet kind of feisty too. I'm thinking Emilia Clarke - what do you think? Yes? No? Am I off on this one? (I personally think I nailed it)

   So now Garrett, this one is easy. And yes, I watched a little soccer this summer. No judging please. May I introduce you to Olivier Giroud.You might recognize him from France's soccer team.

I'm pretty sure I got Ivy right too. Victoria Justice anyone?

 For Becket, the only guy I could imagine in my head was Charlie Hunnam. 

Cleo was easy too. Hello - Brooklyn Decker?

Now, I don't want to ruin Cleo's story for you. There are two guys she might end up with. Tai Matafeo or Asher Murphy. So I'll cast both for you.  
Here's my idea of Tai: Sonny Bill Williams (Yes, he's an actual Rugby player)

 And last, but not least, our beloved Asher Murphy :) Or as you might know him as, Mats Hummels from Germany's Soccer team. Yeah, sorry. The World Cup is over. I'll stop now. (maybe)

   So how did I do? Agree? Disagree? Show me who you would cast. We'll have a little competition to see who wins. 
- Shannon

Monday, July 7, 2014

First Reviews for Dreaming of Ivy!

In case you missed the announcement last week - 

Dreaming of Ivy is Live on Amazon!

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ivy and Becket... PERFECT!! July 4, 2014
Verified Purchase
*dreamy sigh*

Dreaming of Ivy is absolutely AMAZING! I LOVED every minute of it! And I have to admit that it is my new favorite book in this series!

Ivy and Becket are completely perfect for each other! They have both had a hard life, they both have issues that they are dealing with but they are also the only ones who can really see the other person for WHO they are on the inside... issues and all. Becket says it best when he tells Ivy, "We don't need to be perfect. We just need to be perfect for each other."

I loved watching these two grow and fall in love with each other. They had their struggles both separately and together but they proved that communication and unconditional love can go a long way to become better, to become stronger, to become closer to one and other. Becket knew from the start that Ivy was meant for him and he set out to make sure that happened. As I said before... they are PERFECT together!

As usual, I really enjoyed seeing the characters from the other books! The main one?! Tai!! What an AMAZING surprise!! I absolutely ADORED him!! Loved the way he stepped up and was willing to help Ivy and Cleo. Gotta love those Matafeo men!! ;) And speaking of Cleo... I know I am not the only one wishing that her and Tai end up together!! There is something there... I just know it! Ok... Ok... I don't know it... but I am definitely HOPING for it!! ;)

And we might as well discuss Asher... Oh my heck!! What in the world is WRONG with you?! Seriously buddy?! You turned into some psycho, possessive, non-boyfriend! How many times does Ivy have to tell you that you are JUST FRIENDS before you can get it through your thick skull?! I liked Asher in Falling for Rayne but he turned into a little twit!
 Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Holy cow Shannon Guymon does it again!!!!! July 4, 2014
Verified Purchase
Dreaming of Ivy was everything I expected and more. Shannon Guymon is a genius! I love this series of books. I hate spoiler reviews so I will just tell you, you will love Ivy she is a strong secure woman who knows her own mind. I love heroines like her. She is a woman with a past and willingly owns it. It is what made her who she is. I love Becket. He is one of those tarnished hero's we all love to see. He is the perfect combination of tough guy and tender hearted lover!!! Once I started this book I couldn't put it down, even though I was determined to savor it slowly I just couldn't.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome July 4, 2014
Verified Purchase
Loved it! I was so excited when I found out this came out today, I had to download a copy, sneak out of the house and read! (I should clarify, my hubby got off work early today. I did not leave me kids home alone so I could read. Although that would be temping!) I liked Ivy in the first book and I loved her even more in this one. It was great reading her story. Ivy has gone through some trials, but she's used them to help make her a stronger person. I loved Becket, I have a thing for the strong silent type. He chooses his words with care and means what he says. I loved how he truly saw Ivy and treated her so well. Their courtship isn't smooth sailing though and they have to go through some tough stuff before they can get their happily ever after.

One thing I love about this series is reuniting with past characters. I loved seeing some of the old crew from previous series and also a few new characters as well (hint: Tai. Love him!). As I've mentioned before, I love the setting of Fircrest, WA and of course the rugby. I have a new appreciation for rugby (and the haka). I like that there is a bit of a mystery, but the romance and relationships is the main focus.

Overall, another great book in a super fun series. Definitely one I would recommend.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Happy Fourth of July and by the way, Dreaming of Ivy is LIVE!! (On Kindle)

   I'm going to make this short and sweet since you're all busy - Dreaming of Ivy is LIVE on Kindle! Yeah, right this second. Yay! Oh and here's the link.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Cover Reveal AND a Sneak Peek? Can this get any better?

Hey Friends!
   Just to give you an update, Dreaming of Ivy is almost done! I just got the cover yesterday so without further ado:

   I know, I know! Gorgeous, huh? And in case you were curious, here's Chapter 1: 

Chapter 1 - Nerves

            Ivy wrapped her arms around her knees as she stared out over the gray, choppy water of the Puget Sound.  Kenya, her labradoodle nudged her knee with her nose and she automatically ran her hand over the springy curls of her dog.
            “Go play Kenya,” she urged and smiled as the dog wandered off to nose a suspicious pile of dried seaweed. 
            She sighed as she watched her sister Rayne and Cleo come into view. They’d gone for a walk down the shore but were already coming back.  She frowned and closed her eyes as a little sigh slipped out.  Having her own personal bodyguard and an overprotective sister meant that it was very rare to have any time to herself to just sit and think.  She could hide out in her room at home, but there was just something about staring out at the water and feeling the salty breeze on her face that brought peace like nothing else.
            That was what she was after today. A little peace.  She glanced at Rayne and Cleo and relaxed a little as they looked like they were going to pause for a little chat.  Probably talking about Rayne’s upcoming wedding to Garrett Murphy.
            Ivy smiled a little as she rested her chin on her knees.  Growing up with her parents meant that everything was controlled. Their diet, their schedule, their school and teachers, the subjects they studied, their friends, their everything.  She had grown up watching Rayne rise to the occasion as the perfect daughter. She was beautiful, poised and luckily enough, a very talented pianist which fit in with their parents list of requirements. 
            Rayne had left home at nineteen to travel the world and play the piano. In the beginning she had loved it and had enjoyed the spotlight, but their parents had pushed for more and more. They wanted more acclaim for their daughter. They had wanted it all. Until Rayne had begun looking tense and unhappy and tired. She’d burned out and when she’d confronted their parents about taking a break they’d laughed at her.
            And Ivy had sat back and watched and had done nothing to help her sister.  But in her defense, her parents weren’t in the habit of listening to their troubled daughter.  In every way that Rayne had risen to the challenge and become the woman their parents had dreamed of, she had gone the opposite direction. Poor grades. Poor social skills. Poor self-esteem. Poor everything except for her bank account. The only place she had enough.
            Growing up wealthy meant she never went without clothes or food or cars or entertainment, but it also meant her parents had the privilege of pawning her off on tutors, therapists and camps. While her parents had been busy traveling the world with Rayne, she’d been left at home in the hopes that someday her mom and dad would return home and find her a changed woman.  Normal. Happy. Perfect.
            Ivy smiled grimly at the darkening skies and shook her head.  A few years ago when she’d switched therapists, she’d found someone who had seen past all of the years of neglect to what lay underneath it all.  A bad case of O.C.D. and the dangerous signs of anorexia that went hand in hand with it.  She’d been admitted to a facility that specialized in eating disorders and had stayed for six months. During that time, she had been given the correct medication to treat her O.C.D. and given the skills she needed to deal with life and her eating habits.
            She’d also learned something amazing. She was okay.  And hadn’t that come as a shock to her parents. Take away the O.C.D. and add in quality therapy and she was well on her way to being and feeling normal.  Ivy grinned as the wind lifted the hair off her face and pushed against her. 
            Before her parents had died in the car crash, she had been in the process of finding an apartment and moving out.  Rayne had been a huge support and had gone up against their parents on her behalf and she’d forever be grateful for that. But then her parents had died and she’d gone spiraling back down into the dark.  Rayne had been forced to take her to psychiatric hospital for a couple days until she’d gotten herself together. 
            But living here in Fircrest Washington with Rayne and Cleo she was gaining her strength. She was stronger every day and she was finding her own path. 
            And for the first time in her life, she was happy. 
            Happy and yet vulnerable too. It was a scary thing to know that someone might want you dead.  Since moving to Fircrest, she’d been shot in the arm and shoulder by a drive-by shooter and had ended up moving across town to live in Garrett’s house.  And then a few days after that, Rayne had been attacked. Luckily it had happened right across from their house and Garrett had been there to save her, but it had been close call. With the man behind bars awaiting trial, they felt relief, but Garrett was positive that whoever hired him was just going to hire someone else to try again.
            Rayne tried to hide the fact that she was worried, but she knew her sister.  On the other hand, they now had a small army of people looking out for them.  Garrett, her sister’s fiancĂ© was a Marine and he was always around the house doing little projects with the yard.  His business partner and friend, Becket Lowell was in the habit of showing up at the oddest times too and she suspected he was there to keep an eye on her. 
            Good thing she didn’t mind that one bit since he was gorgeous, but sometimes he made her nervous too. Sometimes she’d catch him looking at her with a quiet, intense look in his eyes and she’d end up stammering and blushing and running away. 
            Ivy grimaced and ran her hands through her long, brown hair.  It was so mortifying to finally be around a man she would love to date and at the same time have the social skills of an eighth grader. Good thing she could hang out with Asher, Garrett’s younger brother.  He had hired her as the lead singer in his band, Murphy’s Law a few months ago after hearing her sing karaoke.  They had fun singing in bars and other small venues around Fircrest and Tacoma but it was very laid back which worked for her.  A high pressure music career would send her into the nearest closet. 
            Asher had been talking lately about hiring a publicist and a manager but she had vetoed that. She didn’t want to travel on a bus with a bunch of guys. She finally had a home and she wanted to stay there. Music was fun but not at the expense of her emotional health.
            No, she had finally found a place she belonged. She no longer lived in an empty mansion in San Diego. Now she lived in an old home built in the early 1900’s with her sister and Cleo and five dogs. Sometimes it was so noisy and full of people she felt like covering her ears.  But usually, it just made her smile. 
            She stared up at the gray and stormy sky and knew they’d be leaving soon before they got drenched. She closed her eyes and searched for peace and then gave up. Her problem wasn’t internal, it was external.  Asher Murphy had asked her to dinner and she didn’t know what to do.  She couldn’t talk to Cleo about it because she knew Cleo had hopes of dating Asher herself and the thought of hurting Cleo made her sick to her stomach. She could talk to Rayne about it, but Rayne was so happy and in love that it was hard to fit into the same room with her and her big smile. 
            Plus, she already knew what Rayne would say.  Do what you think is right.
            Yeah, so easy.  And it would be. It’d be the easiest thing in the world to date Asher.  She was completely relaxed around him. They laughed and got along like long lost friends.  He was a guy she could burp around and not be embarrassed. But he was pushing for more and she didn’t know what to do.  She didn’t want to hurt his feelings but more than that, she didn’t want it to affect the band.  The other guys were always teasing her that Asher always dated the lead singer.  But for some reason that just made her uncomfortable.

            Was it possible to be friends with a man without it having to turn romantic?  She groaned and stretched out her legs.  If Becket would just ask her out then she could keep Asher at arm’s length, but no matter how many times he would stare at her with that warm, intense look in his eyes, he had never once asked her out.  Of course if he had, she’d probably have passed out on the spot, but it still would have been nice.

  You're never going to guess what happens next. Big hint. Becket :)
   Okay, okay, I'm done torturing you. Hope your summer is fabulous so far - if not, grab your Kindle, a blanket and get outside and get some Vitamin D :)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Falling for Rayne is LIVE on Kindle!

Hi Friends!
   I'm so excited to let you know that Falling for Rayne is Live right now on Kindle. I was thinking it would be next week due to losing my laptop but I was able to work around it.  
   Here's a quick description for you:
   Garrett Murphy is used to rejection. As a child, he was rejected by his mother and as a man he was rejected by Jane Kendall. Going without love has turned Garrett into a man who doesn't trust in a woman's heart. So when he meets Rayne Nyman, she's too good to be true. She's beautiful, talented and sweet. She also happens to be a world renowned pianist. He knows there's no way she'd ever want to stay in Fircest with him when she could be living the life she was born to. Rayne is determined to prove him wrong and show him that love can be forever but when she comes under fire and her life is put in danger,she might not have the chance.

   I'm so excited about this book. It's the beginning of a new trilogy obviously, but its also Garrett's story and this man has deserved his own story for awhile now. Can't wait to see what you think! Here's the link.
   Enjoy your Summer and don't forget your Kindle while you're hanging out at the beach or pool.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Cover Reveal for Falling for Rayne!

    So I'm going to make this short and sweet since I'm working hard on finishing this book. Get ready for it . . . Cover reveal!

Coming to a Kindle near you Very VERY soon!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Sneak Peek at Book 1 in my newest trilogy and a FREE book!

Hi Friends!
   Good news. My newest book is almost done and I wanted to share the first chapter with you. I don't even have a title yet, but it's the 1st book in my Love and Flowers Trilogy and it's all about Garrett. You'll remember him as Jane Kendall's ex-boyfriend and the man who helped Taryn push Brogan over the edge. He's had his issues, (who doesn't?), but I've always had a soft spot for this guy.
   Oh and before I forget, just to celebrate the fact that Summer is just around the corner and I'm in a really good mood, my book You Belong with Me is Free on Kindle for 5 days, so tell you friends! Here's the link.

Chapter 1 – Pansies

                Rayne stared out her window down at the landscapers and sighed. Pansies. Flats and flats of pansies. She bit her lip and glanced around the yard and remembered what it had looked like ten years ago when she’d come here with her grandmother.  There had been zinnias and ice plant and gladiolus and hostas and bright orange poppies.  Now she was going to be surrounded by pansies. 
                Rayne shook her head.  No she wasn’t.  She ran out of her bedroom and past her sister, Ivy who was coming out of the bathroom with a towel around her head and rushed down the stairs and out into the gentle sunlight.  She was used to San Diego and this pale light was a welcome change.  She put her hands on her hips and glanced around at the men unloading the flats and narrowed her eyes.  There had to be someone in charge.  She watched the men for a moment and then zeroed in on the tall man with his back to her standing by the door of a large truck.  He had a phone to his ear as he ran his hand through his medium brown hair, cut brutally short. 
                Rayne cleared her throat lightly and clasped her hands.  She wasn’t used to dealing with landscapers or men who looked like this guy.  His gray t-shirt was straining over his shoulders and arms and she looked away as she realized she was checking out her landscaper.  She closed her eyes briefly and smiled at herself.  Who would have ever thought Rayne Nyman would be checking out her landscaper? Certainly none of her friends.
                Rayne cleared her throat again as she leaned up against the truck and waited for the man to finish is conversation.  She inched forward, listening in curiously.
                “I don’t care how good looking she is, no more blind dates… forget it Rob, you and Wren will have to go to the concert Saturday without me . . . Uh uh. Besides, I don’t even know much about classical music. I’d be sitting there looking like an idiot. . . Yeah, yeah, I know I owe you. . . Ha! Yeah, I’ll talk to you later, bye.”
                Rayne smiled politely as she waited for the man to turn around and notice her.  He mumbled a few words and then shoved his phone in his pocket before pulling on gloves.  He turned around and Rayne’s mouth fell open, her eyes going wide and her mouth going dry.
                He. Was. Beautiful. She’d never in her life seen cheekbones like his. And his eyes were such a light shade of blue they were almost silver. Forget landscaping, this guy should be modeling.
                “Hi there, what can I do for you?” he asked with a polite smile as he glanced over her head as if he was distracted.
                Rayne let out a breath and stared at her feet for a moment before looking up again.  She could do this.
                “I’m Rayne Nyman the new owner of this home.  It passed to me from my grandmother Marion Stewart when she died a year ago.  I was upstairs and I noticed that you were getting ready to plant all of these um, pansies.  I’d rather you didn’t,” she said and then watched as his blue eyes focused completely on her.
                “It’s nice to meet you Rayne. My name is Garrett Murphy and I’m the owner of Murphy Landscaping. I’m sorry for your loss.  So you don’t like flowers huh?” he said and then crossed his arms over his chest as he put all of his weight on one hip.
                Rayne tried to drag her eyes away from the man’s muscular arms and decided to focus on his face.  She was immediately draw to his cheek bones and his full mouth and was horrified to find that she was turning into a boy crazy airhead.  She’d skipped that faze when she’d been a teenager, but none of the boys at her private school had looked like this either.  She’d better play it safe and just look somewhere else.
                Rayne turned her body around and looked at the handful of workers who were still gathering their shovels and bags of mulch.
                “I do. I love flowers which is why I’d rather you didn’t plant these.”
                Garrett glanced at the flats of marigolds and frowned.  “Your property manager put in the order for flowers last month and with your budget which includes lawn care and weeding and trimming, these pansies are what you can afford.”
                Rayne bit her lip, thinking of the millions of dollars that now sat in her bank account and sighed. 
                “Mr. Murphy, let me assure you I can afford something better.  If you wouldn’t mind, I’d appreciate it if you packed up the pansies and returned them.”
                Garrett frowned and stared at her, his eyes going hard and she shivered before remembering to turn away. Much safer to stare at the bushes than her landscaper.
                “Just pack them up and return them huh? So what would you like put in their place then?” he asked softly stepping closer to her.
                Rayne could feel him move closer and gulped. He had so much energy she could feel it coming off of him in waves.  She pushed her long brown hair over her shoulder nervously and straightened her shoulders.  She was twenty-six years old.  She was a mature, intelligent woman and she could have a basic conversation with a good looking man.  She glanced at him quickly over her shoulder and felt the slam of attraction hit her again.  Maybe.
                “Since I was unaware that you were coming today I’d like the chance to work up some ideas tonight and then I could run them past you tomorrow or Wednesday.  Would that be okay?”
                She waited breathlessly for him to answer and felt a strange tension in her back.  He was staring at her, she could feel it.  She turned slowly and looked up at him as she bit her lip.  His face slowly softened and he nodded his head. 
                “That sounds fine.  What time tomorrow would you like to get together?” he asked taking out his phone and scrolling down to his calendar.
                Rayne stepped closer.  “I’m pretty open to be honest.  My sister and I just moved in a few days ago and we’re still getting our bearings here.”
                Garrett looked up and put his phone in his pocket.  “Let’s meet for lunch then at The Iron Skillet and we could go over your ideas then.”
                Rayne blinked in surprise and stared at the man.  A lunch meeting? She narrowed her eyes at him and stepped back.  “Don’t you have an office Mr. Murphy where we could meet at instead?”
                Garrett shrugged and put his hands on his hips.  “Ms. Nyman, I’m a busy man but if you’d like to wait until Thursday we can set up an appointment for ten in the morning if you’d feel more comfortable with that,” he said, his voice sounding stiff.
                Rayne glanced at the empty flower beds and the wash of pale pastels from the flats of pansies and shook her head.  “No, no, that’s fine.  I’ll meet you tomorrow, where did you say?”
                Garrett nodded his head.  “The Iron Skillet. A buddy of mine owns it and they serve good food there. If you give me your phone number I can text you the address.”
                Rayne told him her number and watched as he added it to his contacts.  He looked up and smiled at her.  “Okay then, I’ll see you tomorrow at one, Rayne. I’m curious about your ideas,” he said and then walked toward his men. “Okay guys, change of plans.  Let’s pack up the flowers. We’re heading back to the nursery.”
                Rayne walked slowly back to the house and stood in the shade of the porch as she watched the men repack the truck and drive away.  As the truck turned the corner and disappeared from sight she let out the breath she’d been holding and shook her head as if to clear it. She’d never in her life been affected by a man as she had been by Garrett Murphy.  She was used to musicians and businessmen and quiet, cool cerebral men whose clothes fell elegantly against their trim pale bodies.  Garrett Murphy was a completely different kind of man than she was used to and she wasn’t sure how to react.
                She grinned and walked back into her house.  Throwing herself at him was probably a huge no-no.  She thought of her ex-boyfriend, Liam Michaels and smiled.  She had been friends with Liam most of her life since he was the son of her parents’ best friends. It was only natural that they dated on and off throughout school.  Their families vacationed together and they were constantly thrown together.  There had been other boys who had asked her out of course, but Liam had been safe.  Too safe. 
                She frowned as she walked into the kitchen and opened the fridge.  Last year Liam had asked her to marry him and she had said no.  For no other reason than she hadn’t been in love with him. Her parents had been horrified that she’d turned Liam down.  But it was her life and her heart and she wouldn’t marry a man just because it would be easy.
                She wanted more.  She wanted love. Her decision to break things off with Liam had hurt her relationship with her parents though.  And it still tortured her that the last conversation they’d had before their car accident had been a fight over Liam.  Her father had accused her of being shallow and uncaring and her mother had accused her of being selfish.  She’d in turn accused them of caring more for Liam than they had for her and her feelings and it had gone downhill after that.  She’d slammed out of the house and had gotten on a plane for New York.  A month later, she’d been informed that her parents had died in a car accident on Pacific Highway.  A car going over a hundred miles an hour had sideswiped them sending their car rolling. 
                That had been three months ago. She and her sister Ivy had been struggling ever since.  With the death of her grandmother and now her parents, she had a completely different life than the carefree one she’d been enjoying so much.  As a concert pianist with her parent’s backing and the acclaim of critics, she could play wherever and whenever she wanted to.  She could travel through Europe which she’d done for the last few years or she could stay in the states. But she had Ivy to think of now.  And her sister would come first. Always.  Which is why she’d hired her friend Cleo to watch out for her.
                She grabbed the carton of orange juice out of the fridge and poured herself a glass.
                “Why’d you get rid of the lawn crew? I was looking forward to seeing some of the male species.”
                Rayne smiled and turned around to see Cleo flop down on a chair, looking at her glumly.  “Never fear, they’ll be back.  They were getting ready to plant pansies and so I had to stop them.  I’m meeting tomorrow with the owner to go over what I want.”
                Cleo looked glum and rested her chin on her hands.  “Knowing you, it’ll take a month to pick the best flowers. I was already planning on bringing out pitchers of lemonade and glasses.  They’d all be so grateful they’d invite me to go dancing.”
                Rayne raised an eyebrow and sat down across from her.  “Dancing?  With strange men? Come on Cleo, you’re smarter than that.”
                Cleo glared at her and sat up.  “No I’m not.  It’s been months since I’ve gone dancing.”
                Rayne’s smile slipped and she looked away.  It had been three months.  Ever since she’d gotten the police report from her parent’s car accident.  There were witnesses who had sworn that the car who had rammed her parent’s Mercedes had done it on purpose.
                “Hey, sorry. Look, forget it.  No dancing. Just stop looking like I kicked a little puppy.”
                Rayne shook her head and smiled.  “No, it’s okay.  Look, I’m sorry you’re bored Cleo, but this is serious to me.  That’s why we’re here.  I just lost my parents.  I’m not about to let anyone take my sister from me.”
                Cleo stared at her sadly and crossed her tanned, toned arms.  “Or kill you.”
                Rayne nodded and stared at her friend.  “Or kill me.  Which is something you won’t let happen.”
                Cleo nodded her head solemnly.  “I wish you’d hire a real body guard.  I’m just a glorified yoga teacher and I can’t be two places at once anyways.  If you’d hire that guy I was telling you about, I’d feel a lot better about you meeting up with your landscaper.”
                Rayne frowned and studied her short nails.  “You are a real body guard Cleo and you don’t just teach yoga.  You’re the one who taught me everything I know about self-defense and you have a license to carry a gun.”
                Cleo snorted and stood up to walk over to the fridge.  “That’s not the real reason.”
                Rayne shrugged and took a sip of her juice.  “Ivy relaxes around you.  You can protect us and help my sister too.”
                Cleo shook her head and took out the pizza box from last night.  “You should tell her Rayne.”
                Rayne glared at Cleo and shook her head.  “Absolutely not.  She’s been through enough.  She barely has her anxiety under control as it is.  What would knowing there could possibly be someone trying to kill us do to her mental well-being?”
                Cleo sighed and took a bite of the cold pepperoni pizza.  “She’s tougher than she looks Rayne.  Ever since you found out she has OCD and have her on the right medication, she’s been doing a lot better.”
                Rayne groaned and leaned her head in her hands as she thought of last night as they stood in the bathroom and she’d watched as Ivy had died strands of her hair near her neck bright pink from a box she’d picked up at the drug store. 
                “She’s twenty-three and she looks like a drummer for a rock band,” she complained just as Ivy walked in the kitchen. Ivy narrowed her eyes at Rayne and walked over to the fridge.
                “I look like a drummer? Exactly what I was going for since I’ve been thinking about starting a rock band.”
                Rayne closed her eyes and massaged her temples.  “Of course you were.  So what are your plans for the day?” she asked politely.
                Ivy shrugged and grabbed a jar of Nutella out of the cupboard and began smearing a large amount on the left over brioche Cleo had picked up at the local bakery yesterday.
                “Cleo and I are going to rent some jet skis and head out on the water.  You should come with us.  You know, live a little.”
                Rayne’s eyes drifted to the red lines on Ivy’s arm where she’s cut herself and wondered how a girl who had tried so hard to hurt herself was far better at living than she was.
                “Next time,” she promised and watched as her little sister rolled her eyes. 
                “It’s always next time with you.  What are you going to do here?  Walk around the yard? Read?  Seriously Rayne, come with us or Cleo and I are going to start thinking you’re completely dead inside.”
                Rayne swallowed and looked away from her sister’s taunting eyes and out the window at the yard that was begging for color and life.  She had been feeling dead inside.  Completely gray and lifeless. 
                “Actually I’m going to be planning out the flower arrangements because I have a meeting with our landscaper tomorrow afternoon.  You two go on without me.  We can catch a movie tonight when you guys get back, okay?”
                Ivy frowned but nodded her head and left the kitchen.  Cleo walked over and touched her arm.  “Don’t forget the alarm system and always have your mace nearby.”
                Rayne nodded her head and smiled.  “Of course. Which reminds me, sometime this week I want to go pick out a guard dog.  It will be an added protection and it’ll be good for Ivy.”
                Cleo nodded and tilted her head. “It’s okay sometimes to think about what would be good for you too you know.”
                Rayne blushed and looked away as Cleo walked out of the kitchen.  There was too much guilt to think about what would be good for her.  Because the majority of the people she loved had died she was now a millionaire and the owner of a successful shipping business.  It was such a horrible thing to think that because the people she loved had died, she profited.  How could she enjoy that?
                She stood up and walked over to the window and leaned her forehead against the cool glass.  And to think that there was someone out there who very much wanted her and Ivy out of the way so that he could profit now.  She thought of Graham Mitchell and shivered.  Her half cousin from her grandmother’s first marriage had been very vocal about his fury at being cut out of their grandmother’s will.  He had a posse of lawyers who had tried to contest her grandmother’s will but they’d failed.  A month after learning the verdict, her parent’s had died.  Graham Mitchell was determined to have his share one way or another. 

                She listened to her sister and Cleo laugh as they walked out the front door and knew she’d do anything to protect her sister from him. Even if it meant hiding out in Fircrest Washington while her private investigators worked to find evidence to prove that he had killed her parents.

** Copyrighted Material