March 17, 2015
I’m Italian through my father’s side. And Irish through my mother.
I’m very proud of both my heritages, and since the last book I wrote, Playing With Fire, included my Italian heritage, I knew it was time to include my Irish heritage in my writing as well.
That was part of the inspiration behind my Grady Brothers Trilogy with the first book, Yesterday’s Promise, coming soon.
Luke, Jake and Cade are my handsome Irish brothers with deep hazel eyes that reach down into your soul and cause your heart to catch in your chest. Their roots are deep in the town of Snow Ridge and their Irish heritage is strong.
They live good. Love even better. And hold tight to the Irish beliefs of the heart. The importance of family. The wonder of love.
The three of them keep me smiling, enjoying their stories. And I have great inspiration for them through my wonderful Irish family.
We are loud. We’re passionate. We’re creative.
We love and we argue. We are so much good with a bit of bad tossed in.
Those are the same traits coming to life with the Grady Brothers. The very traits making them the best choice for the complex, interesting women who have caught their hearts.
Yesterday’s Promise is the youngest brother, Cade’s story. Currently, I’m working on the oldest brother, Luke’s story . . . Today’s Desire.
And then comes the middle brother, Jake, and Tomorrow’s Hope.
A wonderful story for three wonderful Irish brothers.
I’ve loved writing every word and I hope, soon, you will enjoy reading them as well.
March 10, 2015
He was one of my best friends, my protector, my broken-heart healer.
I still see us in Mr. Wood’s class, sitting side by side, sharing Jolly Ranchers. At our first Boy-Girl party together, neither having a clue why we were there.
He’s the face I remember seeing through the windows, waiting for me to get off the bus so he could walk me home. The arms that would hold me when I came racing for him after some boy or another had broken my teenage heart.
He put me behind the wheel of his green Pinto, teaching me to drive. Jumped into the front seat of my own Celica, celebrating with me on the first day I had my license.
There was so much about him that, even as a writer, I don’t have the words to truly describe the amazing friend he was.
He was just a teenager when the cancer diagnosis came. This vibrant, full-of-life friend never even made it to his twenties before being made aware that he’d now live in a battle for his life.
And he battled it. He fought. He never gave up. Every treatment. Every surgery. Every bit of cancer intruding on his life, demanding his attention. He still smiled. Still loved. Enjoying the moments in life he had. Encouraging those around him to do the same.
We could cry for him. Hurt with him. But we also had to smile, laugh, be there and be part of the moments he treasured in his life.
And many of those moments where spent at his favorite place . . . Lake McConaughy.
If you knew Dave, you knew he was truly happiest when at the Lake. There was his peace. His escape. His time to make his life the best it could be. The time I spent there with him are some of the most treasured memories I hold.
He was twenty-six before the beast of Cancer won. And his final time was spent celebrating the Fourth of July at the lake he loved.
Losing such an amazing part of my life was something I knew, in the back of my mind, I couldn’t avoid. But I wasn’t prepared for it. How could I ever be? How can anyone ever be?
Dave was one of a kind. He was so kind. So friendly. So loved by many. There wasn’t a foul word to be said about him. That simply wasn’t the kind of person he was. He loved. He laughed. He celebrated. And just the very nature of him encouraged those around him to do the same.
I knew, after he was gone, I would someday find a way to use my words to honor the amazing friend he was. And a few years later, the first thoughts for Reluctant Angel came to mind.
It was a bit of a struggle in the beginning, bringing Jack to life while also knowing he would be the conflict between my two main characters Gabi and Chase. In my head and heart, Jack was my Dave and I couldn’t have my readers dislike him for any reason.
So I had to challenge what I usually wrote. Find a way to make him the conflict while still, hopefully, creating a love for him and his part in Gabi’s life.
In 2001, Reluctant Angel was released. The story line was simple. The length was shorter than any other I’ve written. And yet it still remains the one closest to my heart. Because it brought to life Jack Cullar who was my chance to honor Dave and all that he was in my life.
I still have a tear and smile to this day when I think of the wonderful friend I knew and lost. And I’m thankful, over a decade later, for the chance to re-release Reluctant Angel.
Soon, my readers will have a first chance to read Reluctant Angel through the Exclusive Publishers Ebook release before regular distribution. I hope, if you do decide to take the chance to read it first, you will enjoy the story I created for one of the best friend’s I’ve ever been blessed to have in my life.
December 6, 2013
What a Fun Happily Ever After
While they are no longer to be considered newlyweds, Broadway star, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s, wedding surprise for his wife is making the rounds on the internet.
Perhaps you have seen it already, but Lin-Manuel surprises his new wife, Vanessa, with a wedding performance of ‘To Life’ . Not only is it terribly romantic and touching to see the effort he put forth, but the obvious delight on Vanessa’s face is priceless.
When You Marry a Broadway Star…
Miranda wrote on YouTube:
“My surprise for my wife Vanessa on our wedding day. All of Vanessa’s close friends and family rehearsed for a month in secret, leading up to the reception. What we lack in polish, we hopefully make up for in joy and love. In any event, everyone in this video has one thing in common: We’d do anything to show Vanessa how much we love her.
“A heartfelt thanks to all our friends and family who participated. Special thanks to Alex Lacamoire, who went above and beyond on the music tip, Sara Miller, for her incredible patience and choreography, Andy Blankenbuehler for letting us use his studio, and Films by Francesco, for filming and putting this together so quickly and beautifully. And thanks to Jerry Bock & Sheldon Harnick, for writing an unbelievably good song. L’Chaim!”
More video clips from the wedding here via the New York Times
November 11, 2013
My latest release, Playing With Fire, is based, for much of the story, in New Orleans and the heart of the French Quarter.
Have you ever been there? Experienced the magic that exists?
New Orleans is mine and my husband’s favorite place to visit. We go yearly, without fail, most times just the two of us. But occasionally with all our children. And it never gets boring. It never gets old. It’s a constant offering of history. Of the love stories and ghost stories that exist around every corner. Of the romance and suspense I love to write about.
Which is why I knew it was the perfect place to send my characters Jessie and Alec in their search for Jessie’s little sister, Annie. With the mystery and passion surrounding New Orleans, there’s no better place, in my opinion, to find your characters falling in love while fighting the darker realities that exist in our world.
When you look beyond the partiers lining Bourbon Street, you see so much more of the heart of New Orleans. The couple tucked in the shadows of a Jazz bar, too involved in each other to notice anything around. The hint of the unknown in the alleys, the courtyards mostly unseen, hiding away secrets behind their vine-covered walls.
The history within the French Quarter is rich. The character untouchable by any other place on Earth. It’s as diverse and wild as the mind can imagine. And as romantic as you desire it to be. One can easily lose their heart there and find love in many places.
I hope, if you have visited New Orleans, you will find some of its treasures in my book. And if you haven’t yet had a chance to visit, I hope you will still find the character of the town as magical through Jessie and Alec’s love story as I’ve found it in my travels there.
October 31, 2013
Angelo Merendino started the blog The Battle We Didn’t Choose to honor his wife Jennifer’s heroic fight with Breast Cancer. Diagnosed just five months after their wedding, she struggled chronic pain, 10-day hospital stays, and frustrating insurance company meetings for over four years before dying at age 40.
“One night Jen had just been admitted to the hospital, her pain was out of control. She grabbed my arm, her eyes watering, ‘You have to look in my eyes, that’s the only way I can handle this pain.’ We loved each other with every bit of our souls,” Angelo writes.
His photos humanize the face of cancer, on the face of his beautiful wife. They capture pain, fear, life, and most importantly love.