Saturday, May 29, 2010

Rest in peace, grandma. I miss you already.

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Things I Learned From My Grandma

This is a bittersweet memorial day for me. My grandmother was shifted to Hospice a week ago. Last night, three hours after I wrote this, we were called in because my grandma wasn't doing well. She's still hanging in, but we're told it will only be a day. I came home to take care of business and family obligations and decided to post this before I rush back. I hope you'll indulge me while I remember.

The Things I Learned From My Grandma

My grandma has always been old to me. I can’t help it. A fifty year age difference will do that. Though my whole life she claimed to 101, my grandma, or grammie as I’ve long called her, was fifty when I was born and to a little kid, that’s old. Her birth year of 1919 gave her a different perspective from mine, in 1969, but you might be surprised by her somewhat modern views on things.

Gram taught me not to be a picky eater (both a good and bad thing), and not to waste food, although I think it might have been a little less “clean your plate” than it was “I made this. You will eat it.” She was an excellent cook. But let’s set the record straight—I will never be thankful for liver or braunschweiger. Also for the record, I am eternally grateful she never had me eat one of her favorite things—creamed herring on crackers.

But speaking of food, she taught me heritage is important. Nut rolls, Easter cheese, and kolache. What would my childhood and adulthood have been without them? These food spell Christmas and Easter celebration. Even more, I was lucky enough to spend hours and hours talking to gram about family. I realized how important heritage is and how I should have high expectations of my children—sorry kiddos.

She taught me responsibility, even if it was someone else’s responsibility—Scott Paulin, yes I’m talking about you. My brother, Scott, and I used to do dishes on alternate days. He wasn’t very good at it—on purpose I think. Grandma made me redo his dishes. She taught me chores were important, even if I hated them. She could smell dirt. I’m not kidding. I learned from her that Murphy Wood Soap is one of the best smells in the world.

She taught me to be a straight shooter and speak my mind. Anyone who knows my grandma will tell you, she’s not afraid to tell you how it is, or how it should have been, or what you should be doing that you aren’t—like calling her or going to church or avoiding that pothole up there (that she shouldn’t be able to see because she’s mostly blind). She was pretty vocal about sex, life, religion and how she was pretty sure neither Catholics nor Protestants have the corner on Christianity.

Being old doesn’t mean not having fun any more. Actually, I’m sure she’d say it meant having fun a lot more. She got remarried in her late fifties—go grandma. She liked to go to the casino, even when she was mostly blind. She was a speeder. No really, do you know that? She was a big speeder! I had to follow her from her house to mine one time. Geez, I couldn’t keep up. I think she thought her age dictated the speed limit—she was like seventy-five and drove that fast that day! At the time, the speed limit was fifty-five. She liked to visit with her friends. Maybe since they were her age—old, remember?—she thought she had to rush to get there. And she loved books. My first romance came from my grandma, who told my mom they weren’t as racy as my mom thought. Um-hmm. And even when she couldn’t read anymore because of her eyesight, she listened to her stories on tape. She just loved them.

She believed that dreams are important and she believed in me. My gram always encouraged me. And she showed me not to be afraid of adversity. She lost many people close to her, but she went on. She lost one of the things most of us value most, her eyesight, yet she went on. She went brilliantly on and showed me that a handicap isn’t the end of the world. You just adjust and go on.

And my grandma taught me most of all to love God and that it’s important to pray. She listened to her bible every day. She listened to “church” on TV. And every night she prayed for her family and her friends. She prayed for individuals, and trust me, they were lengthy prayers…yeah we talked about that, too.

My grandma taught me the most important things: pray, love, be straight with people, speak your mind, be strong, have fun, value tradition, appreciate life (and food), be responsible, and never get old. Even when you’re old.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wednesday Wonder Writer - Kenzie Michaels

Good morning! Okay, it's been nuts around here, finishing up books and doing admin work. I have a fabulous wonder writer on deck today! Kenzie Michaels is perhaps one of the sweetest writers I know. She's fun, loyal, dedicated and hard-working. I'm pleased she's visiting us today. So here's Kenzie!

Kenzie, author’s lives intrigue readers and other writers. Tell me about your typical daily schedule.

LOL…I haven’t had a ‘typical’ schedule since last fall! My ideal schedule is to get the kids off to school, get on the internet and do my blogging and email, then put on the music and write until it’s time to pick up my youngest. However, with the husband home, any writing is accomplished after he’s satisfied I know he’s alive. Don’t laugh; I take the youngling to school; come home and get on the internet; drink my last cup of coffee and answer my email. By then, the husband is usually awake, so we talk about what we have planned, be it going to the bank, the store, or as the case right now, what last minute preparations for our oldest’s HS graduation entails. As you might guess, I love when he returns to work and my time is my own again!

[LOL! I believe this is the tale of most married writers, Kenzie. Mr. Inspiration requires the same careful care.]

Do you have a pre-writing routine to prepare yourself to get down to business?

It depends. Usually, I review what I’ve written the day before and the ideas flow. Other times, I’ll type up what I’ve written in longhand. I always have a glass of iced tea on the stove, which forces me to get up and move periodically.

What’s your writing style? Slow and steady? Quick and prolific? All over the place?

All over the place! If the story if flowing, I’ll write non-stop. Otherwise, the words have to be coaxed out of my brain like a stubborn two year old in the midst of a colossal tantrum! And that’s never fun. I do have many WIPS in various stages of development, so when the ideas are stagnant, I visit each one in hopes of jump-starting my unpredictable muse.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned since starting work in this industry?

Definitely having thick skin. And remembering that not everyone will ‘get’ my sense of humor unless I make it obvious!

What are you working on now?

Besides waiting for edits on Teacher’s Pet, I’ve been invited to be a part of an anthology called ‘1000 Words’. We were given a picture and told to write a 1000 word story based on that picture. I’m in the revision process; I couldn’t tell if it was two men and one female or vice-versa, so I wrote a MFM story. Turns out it needs to be FMF, hahahaha…and the characters aren’t cooperating.

I’m also doing research for a weird storyline which popped into my head three weeks ago. I’ve got the basic story sketched out, but am needing to fill in some accurate details. And I’m also trying to write the third chapter of my Model Behavior wip, which involves a Christian Inspy author who falls for an Erotic Romance cover model.

What’s your favorite genre to write?

Contemporary romance, hands down. I tried the sci-fi genre once and failed miserably.

I find a lot of authors like to read outside their chosen genre. What do you like to read?

I like medical thrillers, such as Robin Cook and Michael Palmer. And I also enjoy John Grisham’s legal thrillers. VC Andrews’ books. John Irving. And lately I’ve discovered a taste for shifter stories from Regina Carlysle, Brynn Paulin, and Anny Cook. I think you’ve heard of these ladies, (snicker!) [um...perhaps. I may have to do a web search ;-) ]

Tell me your writing story…when did you decide this was what you want to do? How long did it take you to get “the call”? When were you first published? Etc.

I’ve been writing stories since age eleven, and dreamed of seeing my work in the kiddie magazine Jack and Jill. I don’t know if my mom ever sent my story off or if it was politely rejected, but everyone who read that particular story loved it. All during high school, I journaled, and wrote stories in English class. But in college, I really began to seriously write, and my roommates encouraged me.

In 2007, a friend told me about an online writer’s group. I joined; met other authors who led me to other authors, who promptly sparked my interest in the Erotic Romance genre. I was soon challenged to see if I could increase and maintain the heat level, and I wrote four erotic stories. August 2008 I submitted two of them; got rejected; turned around and submitted one of them to Freya’s Bower. In October, I was offered a conditional contract; in January 2009, All She Ever Wanted was accepted and was released in May. I had hoped Teacher’s Pet would be accepted and released the same year, but the file was damaged and I ended up submitting it twice before it was accepted last December. I’m still waiting for edits to arrive, but in the meantime, I’ve already submitted two more stories and hope to hear news soon. I’d like to have two releases this year, before my name drops from everyone’s radar.

How many books have you had published and for whom?

As Kenzie, just All She Ever Wanted, with Freya’s Bower. My alter-ego, who writes Women’s Fiction, self-published two books which are on

What’s your latest release? Can you tell us about the book and how you got the idea?

Teacher’s Pet was my first attempt at an erotic romance. My son had an awesome history teacher in junior high, who made my heart rate increase every time I saw him. It turned out I’d met him briefly at the ball field during baseball practice, and during our first parent-teacher conference, I was praying I sounded like a mature adult, rather than a teenager with her first crush! Two years later, I decided to fictionalize that meeting at the ball field and see if I was comfortable with buzz words and maintaining a sizzling heat level, rather than sensual. I made it my NaNo project, and finally worked up the nerve to submit it.

What’s your writing space like?

My desk is the epitome of organized chaos.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

Read, read, and read some more. Watch my DVR’d television episodes. Drive everyone batty because I’m creatively blocked, lol!

I also spend time on chat loops, promoting myself and raving about books I’ve read and loved. And every summer, I set up at local festivals and try to sell my print books, as well as showing off my ‘traveling library’ of my favorite authors, to bring awareness to the electronic books. This year, I’ll have my Sony Pocket e-reader, so I can show how to read the books, rather than just telling people “I download them to my computer and read them that way.” Last year, several people turned up their noses at the thought of reading books on the computer.

[I have a Sony eReader. I love love love love it!!! I hope you'll love yours, too. I use mine everywhere--including the store checkout lane]

Tell us… What’s your favorite movie and why?

Three way tie between Star Wars, The Notebook, and This Is Spinal Tap. Star Wars because I fell in love with Harrison Ford at the tender age of 12; The Notebook, because of the beautiful love story it portrays; and Spinal Tap because it’s just hilarious, not to mention the awesome one-liners in it! Yeah, I have a quirky sense of humor…

Is there anything else you’d like to share with readers?

I love hearing from you! I didn’t know All She Ever Wanted was going to end up being a trilogy until a reader emailed me and asked me to write Brian’s story. So I did…and the characters of a completely unrelated WIP showed up. Bam…instant trilogy!

Any feedback is appreciated.

Last questions… Coke or Pepsi? Pepsi

Summer or Winter? Summer! That’s when the husband is usually at work.

Cat person or Dog person? Both. I just had to put my beloved Black Lab down. We still have a Cocker Spaniel, a cat, and two domesticated rats. [HUGS! I'm sorry to hear about yoru dog!]

Bronte or Austen? Honestly? I tried to read them but found myself skimming. I’m more of a Nora Roberts fan.

Star Trek or Star Wars? Both. Like Tessie, I’m thrilled whenever a marathon of Trek episodes, and would love to own the DS9 series. Okay, who am I kidding? All the episodes…original, TNG, DS9, Voyager, and Enterprise! And yes, I own both the VHS and DVD versions of Star Wars!

Team Edward or Team Jacob? Jacob, hands down. Edward makes me shiver and I don’t like to be cold. I want to curl up with a warm body!

McDonalds or Burger King? McD fries and sweet tea; BK burgers, Wendy’s Frosty.

Teacher’s Pet blurb:

Tammy Saunders is horrified when she realizes the man who set her heart racing is her son's favorite teacher. With one bad relationship behind her, will she trust her heart again, or will she continue to deny her feminine side?

And is this particular teacher popular only with his students? Kevin has made some bad choices in his life, but sleeping with not only one, but now two, of his students' mothers, has got to be the worst mistake he ever made. Especially when he realizes he's lost his heart to one of them.

My new editor did email me at the beginning of the month, so hopefully soon I’ll find edits in my inbox. Looks like I’ll be working during the summer, as well as promoting!

Thanks so much for having me Brynn!

Kenzie, thanks for being here!!! Readers, here's where you can find Kenzie:

All She Ever Wanted: Available HEE.

My temporary website:


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wednesday Wonder Writer - Tessie Bradford

Hey all! Today, I'm pleased to have Tessie Bradford with me as this week's Wednesday Wonder Writer. Read on to learn about this sassy new author:

Tessie, author’s lives intrigue readers and other writers. Tell me about your typical daily schedule.

“Intriguing” is not the first word I would choose to describe my typical day! I always aim to arrive at my office by 7am, count being there any time before 8am a victory, and thank my lucky stars that I work on flex time! First order of business when I get home is attending to my animal children. Then the phone starts ringing. I’m on call for my work until 7pm and some very important people in my life refuse to email! My husband and I both love to cook, so dinner is usually a joint effort. Trying to keep up with groups and blogs hopefully comes next. I strive to be lounging in bed, reading, and keeping an ear on a few favorite TV shows by 9pm. Notice that a typical week day doesn’t include nasty things like cleaning or laundry, nor does it include the wonderfully creative activity of working on a book!!!

Do you have a pre-writing routine to prepare yourself to get down to business?

I announce to everyone, “I’m writing, don’t bug me unless your ass is on fire!”

What’s your writing style? Slow and steady? Quick and prolific? All over the place?

All over the place! Many times I stare at a blank screen. If the mood is right and the planets are aligned, there are a few incredible times where my creative juices are allowed to flow regardless of life going on around me.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned since starting work in this industry?

I’ve learned more than one.
Stay true to your vision. Develop a thick skin. Ask for help. Listen to others. Remember how lucky you are.

What are you working on now?

I’ve gone back to a story I started last summer about an artist who runs a little boutique in a small town in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and the retired Detroit cop who moves into town. I’m still not exactly sure where it’s going, but I really like the characters. I’m also playing around with a story of two alien brothers who find themselves stranded on Earth.

What’s your favorite genre to write?

Erotic romance is the only thing I write. Exploring the dynamics of relationships fascinates me.

I find a lot of authors like to read outside their chosen genre. What do you like to read?

Well, I read my chosen genre the most – have to keep up with the competition, you know!! But I also really enjoy an “I’m sleeping with the lights on tonight” horror story, or a good mystery.

Tell me your writing story…when did you decide this was what you want to do? How long did it take you to get “the call”? When were you first published? Etc.

I entered a contest in the sixth grade and won for my age group. Then my English teacher in junior high school asked me to adapt the book, A Wrinkle in Time, for the spring play. I loved writing! I went off to college, majoring in English Literature. After that came life, marriage, divorce, remarriage, kids, life. When my baby girl left for college and my son and his wife announced they were expecting our first grandbaby all at the same time, I panicked!! What the hell?? All of a sudden I was an empty nester, facing middle age, wondering what would define the next phase of my life. Enter my hubby. Tired of my crying, wallowing and bitching, he tossed out the gauntlet of me taking a risk to revisit my first love – writing. I finished Ageless Desires in six weeks, had my daughter on the phone and him standing next to me when I threw caution to the wind and hit the ‘send’ button to Ellora’s Cave. 27 days later, they offered me a contract.

How many books have you had published and for whom?

Ageless Desires, Oasis of Pleasure and the newly contracted The Lady’s Not a Vamp are with Ellora’s Cave. Training Randi and Possessing Eleanor are with Resplendence Publishing.

What’s your latest release? Can you tell us about the book and how you got the idea?

Possessing Eleanor released March 23, 2010. After writing the very dominant, Argon commander Hagan in Oasis, I wanted to further explore the D/s relationship in the real world.

What’s your writing space like?

A cluttered, small desk in the corner of my family room, right next to the 35 gallon fish tank. The sound of the bubbling water is very soothing, and my freakishly personality-filled fish babies provided constant entertainment as I watch them when I should be writing!

What do you do when you’re not writing?

Besides obsessing about the fact that I should be writing? I do the bare minimum to keep my house presentable, preside over the maintenance of the family’s sometimes precarious ‘financial fluidity’, read, cook and attempt to micro-manage the lives of those I love so that said lives are made better!

All kidding aside, animal rescue, fostering and legal issues are a big part of my family’s life. We work closely with our local shelters to speak for and take care of those who can’t do so for themselves. Over the years we have been blessed to share our home and hearts with a vast array of the most magnificent, entertaining and loving souls. Currently, my household is controlled by three wonderful animals. Mandy, an older than dirt cat, rules absolutely. Rex, a 55 pound pit bull terrier of crazy macho male goodness provides comic relief until he sees a laundry basket, or garbage bag, or hears yelling, because then he dissolves into a quivering mass of shaking fear due to being abused. Maggie, our beautiful baby, just turned four years old, despite the odds against her. She is also a pitty mix, and is an innocent victim of irresponsible breeding. Her medical issues are catastrophic, but she adds such joy to our daily lives that we thank our lucky stars for having her with us.

Tell us… What’s your favorite movie and why?

Jeez, I need to lighten up – I’ve been agonizing over answering this question!! My father was a huge movie expert/fan. Some of my fondest memories are of us getting dressed to the nines to attend an opening night in New York or Detroit, us excitedly putting a VHS tape in the ‘new machine’, or finally, watching a DVD. His knowledge and love of the media was contagious. In honor of him, I will say, Gone with the Wind.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with readers?

Yes there is – I’m thrilled to have them!! ‘Thank you’ doesn’t begin to express how much it means to me that people read my books!

Last questions…
Coke or Pepsi? Pepsi

Summer or Winter? Winter

Cat person or Dog person? Both! The more the merrier.

Bronte or Austen? Neither.

Star Trek or Star Wars? I’m a hard core fan of both. I watch the old, the new, the movies, the TV series and even the cartoons. Back in the day, I was forced attend the opening day of Star Trek II, the Wrath of Khan alone due to my friends being weenies. I dragged my husband to each re-release of the original Star Wars movies. Despite owning all the movies for both franchises, I get giddy as a schoolgirl when a cable channel runs a marathon. Recently, I was the first in line at the Detroit Science Center for the hands on exhibit of original Star Trek sets, and have the pictures to prove it! I was completely bummed when hubby wouldn’t allow me to enter our names in the “Win a Wedding on the Bridge of the Star Ship Enterprise” contest. Oh sorry, did you want a shorter answer to this question? As my brother delights in telling me; “Take it down a notch, your geek juice just splattered me!”

Team Edward or Team Jacob? I don’t play team sports.

McDonalds or Burger King? White Castle.

Tessie, thanks for being here today! Readers, you can find Tessie at:

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tuesday Book - The Perfect Union

Remember two weeks ago when I told you I was excited about my next featured book? Well, this is it. Today, I'm happy to feature The Perfect Union by Trina Lane. I was fortunate enough to read this book, pre-released, a few months ago and really enjoyed it. Trina is definitely one of the up and comers in the industry! Without further gushing, here's the book:


Two men, one woman and the desire to experience passion beyond their wildest dreams.

Calleigh Wells has spent the last three years rebuilding her life after being notified of the death of her husband in Iraq. On that darkest day of her life she met Rick Conner and Conor McGuire. Two men who share a bond beyond mere friendship.

Since then the three have become inseparable. Both men have become surrogate fathers to Calleigh's twin boys. They've created an unusual family filled with love, friendship, and support. However, lately Calleigh's dreams have been filled with feverish images of sweat slicked skin and twisting limbs. Of three. Unbeknownst to her Rick and Conor have also hungered to expand their friendship to new reaches. What will happen when all is revealed?


Rick paced the living room waiting for Calleigh to get home from her date. He was too keyed up to watch the late night news. Thinking about that other man touching her, holding her hand, or god forbid kissing her was driving him nuts. He heard Conor come down the stairs after checking on the boys, again. He could tell the man was just as much a wreck. As he turned to face the front windows he saw a car pull into the open spot in front of the house. Conor must have caught the direction of his gaze because he sprinted past him to peer out the curtain.

"Conor get away from there!" He said while walking that direction.

"Go and shite." He pulled the curtain back just enough to peak around the corner. "Damnu ort Bualadh craicinn Bastun!"

Rick stomped over to the window to stand behind Conor. "I have no idea what you just said, but it didn't sound pleasant. Let me see."

"The fecking gobshite is practically riding her!"

"Move Con!" He looked out the window "Goddamn fucking bastard is practically giving her a tonsillectomy!"

"That's what I said." he hissed at Rick.

"Yeah but nobody can ever understand you when you get riled up."

He pulled Conor away from the window before Calleigh caught sight of them. Only moments later he heard the key turn in the front door. He hoped like hell she wasn't going to bring what's his name inside. He might have a hard time restraining himself from punching the man.

"Conor get your ass over here."

He flipped on the news on and pretended to watch. Conor flopped down on the sofa just before the latched opened. He heard Calleigh say goodnight and released the breath he'd been holding. A few seconds later she was sitting between then where she belonged, but she definitely did not have the look of a woman who'd been blissfully kissed. He did a little happy dance inside.

"How was the date?" Conor asked.

Calleigh heaved out a breath. "It was okay. He was polite. Made all the right conversation. Even kissed me, but it felt like his tongue was a tentacle. No spark, nothing. Maybe I'm not ready after all."

She looked disillusioned. Rick knew there was fire in her. It just needed the right kind of spark to ignite. He looked at Conor and saw him nod. He turned Calleigh's head toward him. His hand tunneled in the silky mass of her honey blond hair. Her amber brown eyes darkened as he leaned his head forward. He touched their lips together for the first time. They tasted vaguely of cherry as he flicked his tongue out to taste the soft pillows. Her mouth opened and he slipped inside. Moaning at his first real taste of Calleigh.

Her mouth was sweet and welcoming. He turned his head to get a better angle, and sealed them together tighter. His mouth moved on hers in a slow rhythm. Her tongue came out to play with his. Slipping into his mouth as his retreated from hers. He was hard and aching. His hand moved lower to caress her breast only to find Conor's already there. He pulled back and looked into her passion dazed eyes. Conor's hand cupped her cheek and turned her head toward him.

He watched their lips meet and fuse. Their mouths were moving together in perfect synchronicity. Rick cupped her breast in his hand and molded the full mound. Her nipple was erect and stabbing his palm. He slid his other hand up underneath the hem of her dress. Touching and caressing the soft skin of her inner thigh. Her legs opened a little and he angled his fingers up to touch the edge of her panties. Skimming the fabric, but not reaching underneath. Little moans and cries were being swallowed by Conor's mouth as he continued to lick and devour Calleigh's plush lips.

It always made him hot to see Conor pleasuring the woman they'd chosen to bring home, but knowing that this was Calleigh. Their Calleigh. Made the experience ten times more erotic. Conor loved to kiss. It was one of his favorite things to do to a woman. He would kiss them all over for hours, while he was more of a touch person. He loved the feel of a woman between them. Touching her skin and slipping his fingers inside her body. His cock inside the snug wet heat of a pussy or hot velvet clasp of an ass could melt his brains with pleasure. Add Conor into the mix filling the woman's mouth or other available opening and the melt actually exploded. Hearing the screams of her pleasure echo in the room, feeling the rake of her nails down his back was the best feeling in the world. They would have that with Calleigh and they would have that soon.

Sounds awesome, right? You can pick up this book now at Total-e-bound! Check out her author profile at the publisher too. She has a free read available as well.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Monday Minute Fiction - The Field

Welcome to Monday Minute Fiction. Join me every Monday for a bit of quick fiction. Then check out the bottom of my post for other authors doing Monday Minute Fiction too!

The Field

(this work belongs to Brynn Paulin and cannot be duplicated without permission)

“Where is he?” Maddie asked after she’d stopped in the kitchen to greet her in-laws.

“In the field. By the back fence.”

Maddie nodded. It was where she and Spencer, her husband, had often spent time when they’d been dating. It seemed decades ago now, when in truth it was only eight years since they’d married. He’d drawn away since she’d been deployed overseas. In a nightmare, almost worse than the war, he’d stopped communicating. He didn’t answer the phone or email or regular mail. There had just been silence.

When she’d called his parents to assure herself nothing had happened to him, they couldn’t explain his distancing. In fact, they seemed genuinely perplexed that their son who loved Maddie so much would sink into “radio silence”.

The wind whipped at her dress as she crossed the field. After sickening disappointment when he hadn’t met the plane, she’d stopped at their apartment to change before heading over here. It had been spotless, almost as if he hadn’t been living there.

In the distance, she saw his tawny hair as he sat in the dried grass. Her heart thumped with excitement at seeing him, yet ached with the pain he’d dealt her. Why, Spencer? Why did you do this?

He didn’t move as he sat there. He didn’t even jump as she crouched behind him and gave him a hug. One hand came up to cover one of hers, but he kept staring into the distance, disconnected save for the distant touch.

She didn’t bother with “I missed you”, “I love you” or anything long-parted lovers might say. “What’s wrong?” she asked. This wasn’t the man she’d left behind.

“I couldn’t tell you,” he said quietly. The dull, sadness permeating his words penetrated to her soul. His fingers tightened on her. “It was just too hard to not say it, to pretend… Not when you were over there and had bigger things to worry about.”

“Pretend what?” she asked desperately. Fear twisted with the pain.

He shook his head and she shook him.

“I’m sick,” he said. “Cancer. But they think I’ll be okay—”

“What!” She crawled in front of him, hysteria clawing up her spine and into her throat. “What?” she demanded. “How could you not tell me this? What the hell, Spencer!”

She trembled with all the rampaging feelings that tore through her, and he reached out and pulled her into his lap. She curled against his chest, comforted by his strong arms around her. He kissed her temple, her shoulder, her neck.

“I couldn’t,” he whispered. “I needed to be strong while you were over there. Then… well, I knew you’d know—you’d hear it in my voice—so I figured pissing you off would be better. If you’d gotten hurt because you were distracted by worrying—”

“Distracted by anger is so much better? And for your information, jerk, I was still worried,” she added softly. She kissed his jaw then pressed her forehead into his neck. “What kind of cancer?” she asked.

“Gastrointestinal. In the small intestine. They think they got it all. I’m doing radiation.”

“And your parents don’t know? Spencer!” Her husband had gone through this and not told her? Not told anyone? She cursed the military for activating her reserve unit. She should have been here for him.

“My doctor’s very hopeful about my prognosis,” he assured her.

“You better be doing all you can to get better, mister,” she rasped, her throat tight with reaction. “I did not live to come home and live without you.”

His arms tightened and he leaned backward, until they were both laying on the grass. He held Maddie cuddled to his side. She closed her eyes, inhaling the scent of the field and his spicy cologne.

“It scared the hell out of me,” he told her. “Still does. I couldn’t imagine how helpless you would have felt being over there and knowing.”

She closed her eyes. Her face pressed into his shoulder.

“I’ve spent a lot of time here,” he told her. “I felt close to you.”

She smiled. This was their field. Their place.

“I think we should build that house here that we’ve always talked about,” she said. “Lord, knows your parents would be thrilled. They’ve wanted that for years.”

“Are you sure? It’s not the city.”

“I’m sure,” Maddie answered, surprised at how this conversation had turned around. “I’d be with you. That’s all I’ve really wanted.”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t meet the plane,” Spencer said suddenly. He pushed her onto her back and rose over her. “I better stick around for awhile, huh. I have a lot of ass-ness to make up for.”

“Damn straight, mister. Don’t ever clam up on me again.”

“I’m so glad you’re home.” As he lowered his head and their lips met, the grass of the field swayed around them. The peace of the place sent a healing balm through her raw emotions. She and Spencer had a lot to deal with, but right here, right now, she had no doubt everything would be just fine.

Thanks for reading! I hope you return next week. Leave me a comment!!!

I was super late posting last week's Monday Fiction, but if you're interested, here's eMale.

If you're an author who'd like to participate in Monday Minute Fiction, please contact me and I'll hook you up for next week and on.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Brynn…not cool

Yeah, just so you know, I’m not cool. Besides being a writer and doing the housewife thing—and liking it—I’m a mom. And I have all the not cool that comes with that.

People at church don’t know what I do. Well, they know I’m a writer, and they know I go to conferences to see people and do book signings. That’s about it. The pen name is not up for public consumption. One of the ladies, a friend but not close enough that I’d give her my pen name, told me I should make sure my kids know what I do and that people read my books. That they should be proud of me. I laughed and explained that my kids know. In fact, it’s no big deal to them. They know so many writers, it’s a norm to them. I think it’s a lot like movie stars' kids—not that I’m equating myself to a movie star. Not hardly. But my kids know a lot of people in the industry. Being a writer is a completely attainable dream to them.

My younger son still thinks it’s pretty interesting though. He tells his friends and this is how it usually goes:

“So and so wants to read your book.”

“Uh no.”


“So and so isn’t eighteen. You have to be eighteen.”

Older son pipes in. “Hey, you were reading Harlequins when you were twelve. You told me.”

“I don’t write Harlequins.”

Younger son, “So what’s your web address again?”

“Hey, I think it’s time for you to go do the dishes.”


We have various versions of this conversation several times a year. My older son is on to me. Just last night, we were talking about one of his friends. I mentioned he’s a nice kid (translation: you can invite him over. I think you should keep hanging out with him)

And he says to me (brat), “Yeah, Pablo thinks you guys are cool. I had to tell him all the reasons you’re not.”

Sigh. Thank you. Thank you very much.

I think he secretly likes me.

Anyway…a little middle school humor. Today, I got a permission slip for an end of the year trip for the younger son. It was pretty straight forward. A description of the trip and all the necessary details. Then I got to the bottom of page 2. “Please consider being a chaperon. There’s nothing better than spending the day with your child and a bus full of eighth graders.”

Somehow, I’m not sold. LOL.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Monday Minute Fiction - eMale

Welcome to Monday Minute Fiction. Join me every Monday for a bit of quick fiction. Then check out the bottom of my post for other authors doing Monday Minute Fiction too!


(this work belongs to Brynn Paulin and cannot be duplicated without permission)

If you were here, I would give you a hug and drive away the pain. Then I would take you out for a drink. We would get drunk, then I’d take you home and kiss away the memories of the jerk at work. I will let you imagine what would happen in my bed. Let us just say, you would not want to soon leave. Most sincerely and with love, Alexi.

Torie groaned aloud when she read her pen pal’s vow. That man could turn her on like no other. And she’d never actually met him.

Alexi had been writing to her since they were both sixteen. Over the years—ten now—they’d gotten to know more about each other than she’d have dreamed possible. His written words enveloped her with his virtual hugs. He was her confidante and faraway champion.

At first, they’d communicated by traditional mail, but now they spoke via email, but still once a week. Every Friday, she’d sign on and there would be an email from him. She’s spend an hour replying. Strangely, the only picture she had of him was from the early pen pal days. They’d never exchanged more recent photos. She wanted to see what the adult Alexi looked like, but was reluctant to ask. Perhaps he didn’t want to share.

Today, in this letter, he was comforting her. She’d had a bad week last week.

She’d just hit reply when her doorbell rang. Of all the timing!

With a sigh, she headed for the door. A tall man, with dark curly hair and shockingly blue eyes, stood on the other side. He smiled, displaying a beautiful smile with even white teeth.

“To Rye?” he asked, in a thick accent.

She blinked at him then shook her head. “Um…no?”

“You are not To Rye.” He frowned, a furrow developing between his brows. “Perhaps I am saying it wrong.” He pulled a pen and a piece of paper from inside his jacket then scribbled something. He showed it to her. “How do you say?”


Her eyes wide, she stared at him. “Torie,” she murmured then gasped, “Alexi?”

“Yes,” he replied with a wide smile. “I have come to bring you your hug.”

“Oh my goodness! Get in here,” she exclaimed, pulling him inside her apartment. “I can’t believe you’re here. In Cleveland.”

He looked at her, his gaze heavy with unspoken words and emotion. “It was important for me to meet you. I have come to care for you through our letters.”

A flutter went through her and a twinge of longing pulled at her middle.

“I feel the same way,” she confessed. Actually, she’d come to love him. Could she confess that? Should she? There couldn’t be much of a future for them. He lived in France where his Russian father had settled and married his French mother. She was a third generation American who had no intention of becoming an ex-patriot.

His large hand cupped her face and his thumb smoothed over her cheek. “I had to see you.”


As if they were magnets that had been kept apart but now, in close proximity, were drawn together, their bodies moved close. Torie tipped her head to look up at him, and his mouth immediately covered hers. His taste of coffee and mint exploded into her, his scent of woods and male musk filled her lungs. She groaned as his hard chest met her softness, his arms wrapping her and holding her like a long-lost lover. She followed suit.

Her body melted at his touch, need winding inside her with such suddenness it shocked her. Her nipples drew tight, pressing the cloth of her shirt, needing to be free. When his palm came up to cup one mound, she sighed into his mouth. Suddenly, as frissons of pleasure wove to her core, she realized herself and stepped backward, breathing heavily.

She pressed a hand to her face. “What you must think of me…”

“I think,” he replied, “you have been waiting for me. I know…you have not been with another in eighteen months. And when you were, it killed me.”

Torie glanced up at him wide-eyed.

“I want…” he continued, “to explore this with you. To finally have you as mine. Not on paper but in life. I have obtained employment here in Cleveland. I hope that we might…date.”

He was living here? Her emotions did a happy dance, and she grinned at him. Dating sounded wonderful. “You should know I don’t kiss on the first date,” she laughed.

“We have had hundreds of dates, ma chère,” he replied. He stepped closer and looped his arms around her waist. “And I would like to have many more. What do you say?”

She bit her lip and knew she was grinning like a lovesick fool. Who cared? Alexi was here and she felt the same way he did. “I say yes, Alexi. Remember what you wrote in your last letter?”

He nodded.

She rose on tiptoes and brushed her lips over his ear. “Show me. Most sincerely and with love, Torie.”

Thanks for reading! I hope you return next week. Leave me a comment!!! Also participating in Monday Minute Fiction:

Ashley Ladd and her story, Book Man.

Check it out!!!!

If you're an author who'd like to participate in Monday Minute Fiction, please contact me and I'll hook you up for next week and on.