Eileen, thank you for having me as a guest on your wonderful blog.
My latest novel Anthony (Risking Love Book Four) is available for pre-order and has a publication date of April 1. I’ve included the dedication to my mother in today’s blog to show you where some of my inspiration comes from when I’m writing.
My mother has many talents. I share some of them throughout my novels. For instance, she was Ellie, Joseph’s administrative assistant in my last book, Joseph, playing the part of a caring, motherly woman who was more like a good friend. In Anthony, it was my mother’s delicious Italian cooking that inspired my writing about Anthony’s amazing meals in his successful Italian restaurant. In Joshua, I show my mother’s creativity and personality in the many colors she uses around the family cottage. She used to take us on walks up at our summer home, looking for driftwood that she would turn into wonderful works of art.
When she wasn’t coaching me or my four siblings in sports, girl scouts or boy scouts, she was reading to us, knitting us hats and scarfs, making us gorgeous quilts, cooking delicious food, and teaching us how to swim or waterski.
She is in her nineties now. I know that someday I will lose Mom, the person I love most in the world besides my husband and children. But I’ll always have these amazing memories of her and so many more.
ANTHONY BLURB IN VIDEO
EXCERPT from ANTHONY
After my business partner went home for the day, I called James, our receptionist, into my office. I prayed he’d help me. “You know that gorgeous friend of yours? The one with the blond hair and blue eyes?”
He stood in my doorway and raised a brow. “You must mean Samuel. Why do you ask?”
I rolled the straw wrapper from lunch that was still on my desk with my fingers. “I need a date for Violet and Joseph’s wedding this weekend.”
“Girl, you know he’s one of my gay friends, right? I thought that you’d been drooling over that hunk of a man, Tony.”
“Yes, and that’s why I need Samuel’s help.” God, I hoped this scheme my friends had concocted didn’t backfire on me.
He put his fists on his hips and looked at me like I was crazy. “Girlfriend, you’re not making any sense. I thought Tony was going to the wedding.”
My chest tightened. “He is, but… the man moves at a snail’s pace.” I crushed the straw paper into a ball and tossed it toward the trash. “He’s interested in me. My friends told me that they could tell by the way he acted and the things he said when he was around me. But he hasn’t made any attempt to ask me out. Joseph and Violet’s wedding would have been the perfect opportunity but he didn’t ask.” I combed my fingers through my hair.
I took a deep breath then huffed it out. “Jaq told us that he hasn’t dated since his divorce over a year ago. That he’s been working hard to make his restaurant successful.”
He swooshed his hand toward me. “He’s done that. So why wouldn’t he go after you?”
I shrugged my shoulders. “Tony told Joseph that he’s taking his time this go around, so he doesn’t make the same mistake he made with his first marriage.”
“Are you telling me that hot man hasn’t had sex for over a year? His balls are going to shrivel up and die. Are you sure he’s straight?” He teased.
“I didn’t say he hadn’t had sex. I’m saying he hasn’t dated anyone.”
He smirked. “And how does Jaq feel about you manipulating her brother? I thought she’d put up a roadblock when she found out because of your boy crazed days in college.”
“Good question. I didn’t get a chance to tell you what happened at dinner last night. My friends forced me to tell her how I felt about her brother.” The look on Jaq’s face had made me queasy. “I told her that I was head over heels crazy about Tony and that was the reason I hadn’t been dating.”
“Drama. You go girl. I want all the dirt.” He plopped down on the seat in front of my desk.
I smiled. I knew how much he loved to gossip. “At first, she accused me of secretly dating her brother and wanted to know why I would do such a thing.”
James slapped the top of my desk. “Oh, this is getting good. What did you say? Did you get angry?”
“I told her I would never do such a thing. Then she stuck out her chin and demanded to know what I was going to do about it.”
He grimaced. “What do you mean?”
I laughed. “That’s what I asked. She told me that he wasn’t a pursuer of women and never had been. He was a driven man who put most of his energy into his dreams of having a successful restaurant, and he was a painfully slow mover when it came to asking a woman out. Then she asked me again, ‘What was I going to do about it?’ At that point, my heart raced.”
Even now it raced from remembering Jaq’s words after I’d asked her if she meant that she was okay with me dating Tony. I leaned forward and steepled my hands.
“She told me that I was a good friend. And, sure, at the beginning of our senior year she’d been worried about my trolling for men. At the time, I had been dealing with my worst daddy-daughter issues.”
“Oh, please. Who hasn’t done some sleeping around in their younger years?”
I made duck lips at him because I knew Jaq hadn’t, but I wasn’t going to tell him that. He’d call my friend names, like prude, and most likely right to her face, and she so wasn’t one.
I melted back on my seat. “Well, it wasn’t my finest period in life. Then she said I was the nicest, smartest, most beautiful woman inside and out that she’d ever known.” My eyes welled up like they had last night at dinner.
James nodded. “Damn straight, you are.”
My heart smiled. “She wants me to date her thick-headed brother.”
“Of course she does. Your outgoing, fiery personality is what that man needs.” So how would having Samuel as your date help you get Tony?”
I leaned forward and took hold of his hand. “You’re not going to believe this, but, according to Jaq, we need to make him jealous enough to get him to ask me out.”
He gave me a devious smile. “Hmm, so Samuel would be the bait that gets Tony to wake up and get moving in on all the fineness that is you. I think you’re all nuts, but I happen to know that Samuel is free this Saturday, because he was going to hang with me until I had to leave for the wedding. I’ll hook the two of you up.”
“You’re the best.”
“I hope this doesn’t backfire on you. You could lose Tony if he doesn’t like being manipulated.”
“We’ll have to make sure he doesn’t find out. I’ve already waited seven months for him to notice me and to make his move. We ladies all think that’s long enough. Don’t you?”
“Yes, and that is why you should have taken all that fineness of yours and moved on to greener pastures. Stop waiting around for this guy. No matter how hot he is, no one’s worth waiting that long for.”
“I would normally agree with you, but there’s so much more to Tony than his good looks. I’m going to give it this one last try. If it doesn’t work, I’ll take your advice and move on. I’ll be heartbroken, but I owe it to myself to find what Jaq, Carlie, and Violet have. True love is out there for me too. I feel it.”
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