Happy Release Day, Steady!

Today is the big day! We get to celebrate my first release of 2018 and the fact that this release marks a big milestone for me! Steady is my 20th solo release (40th including my coauthored books)! How crazy is that! 

But I don't want to spend too much time on that when you're probably wanting to know more about the release itself. Steady kicks off a new series, Hearts in Carolina, which is set in North Carolina. Some characters you may meet in previous books (or even in the Carolina Rebels books) or some may be brand new. Because of this, all will be able to be read as standalones.

Now, here's all the details about Steady!

A chance meeting and a spontaneous marriage proposal leads Logan Archer on a first date that turns his dull, unhappy life around. With her help, he finally lands his dream job. But what Logan really wants is his dream girl to spend his time with.

He’s certain that girl is Kayla. He’ll do whatever is necessary to secure a future with her.

Kayla Murphy might be able to turn down Logan’s many proposals, but she can’t resist his charm, his many nicknames for her, or his ability to make her laugh when it’s the last thing she wants to do. 

But unwanted distractions threaten what these two are building together.

Get it on Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo | Google Play

One More Sneak Peek: Chapter Two of Steady!

Chapter Two

Kayla

“Whose hoodie is that? Where have you been? I thought you were coming home sooner.”

I sigh at my mom. Still living at home instead of on campus means enduring her nosy questions. “It’s a guy’s. I was out, and apparently, my plans changed. I’m going to my room.”

She says something under her breath, but I ignore her and continue to my room. My dad tried to tell her that since I’m in college, I should have more freedom. Mom told him he didn’t live here anymore, so he should stay out of it. It’s been a battle ever since.

I plop onto my bed and take a deep breath. As I relive the afternoon’s events, I try to figure out what exactly happened. I think about all the ways it could’ve gone wrong. How I could be tied up and in a trunk on my way out of the country right now. Logan and his sister seemed nice enough. That’s the first time I’ve met a guy’s family the day I met him. It wasn’t bad, though.

The incessant buzzing of my vibrating phone cuts into my reminiscing with a call from my dad. “Hey, Daddy.”

“Hey. How’s my little girl doing today?” he asks. I may be twenty and his oldest child, but I’m his only girl and therefore, I’ll always be his little girl. I don’t mind at all.

“Good. Just getting home. How was your day?”

“I’ve been at the shop.” My dad is a mechanic. He and my uncles own a shop where they do pretty much anything to cars.

“Are you still there? Have you had dinner yet? You should go home and eat, Dad.” Ever since my parents divorced, my dad spends most of his time working. I waste my breath, trying to get him to go home and rest, but I’m worried about him. He worked crazy hours before, but I feel like he works all the time now. That can’t be good for him.

Dad laughs. “Quit worrying about me. The only one of us who is supposed to do the worrying is me. Now, tell me about your day.”

I roll my eyes. “I still worry. You’re all alone now.”

“I’m fine.” His voice is firm and allows no room for me to continue on that line of thought. I guess my argument is too predictable if he knows just from that one sentence that I was about to start my you-should-be-with-mom lecture. I’ll even admit that part of the reason I want him back with my mom is so he can handle her and keep her off my back.

“Fine. I practiced my guitar.” Code for playing at the coffeehouse since I haven’t told them about that yet. “And I went out with a guy I met.”

Dad grumbles under his breath. “How’d it go?” he asks anyway.

“Good. He won me over enough to get my number. Now, I’m back at home for the night.”

“Why don’t you tell me more about this young man?”

I laugh. They used to be boys, but Dad begrudgingly upgraded them to young men now that I’m in college. “But what if it doesn’t work out? Then I just told you about a boy for nothing.”

“I’m not going to talk to you for a week since you’re in college now, Kayla. Humor your daddy.”

I smile. He says it as if I set the limit, but he did. Since Mom has been so overbearing still, Dad thought he should limit his contact with me to give me more space. He only calls me once a week, but makes sure I know I can call whenever I want.

“Well, his name is Logan.” Dad grumbles when I mention the proposal and again when I bring up how he led me to a house, but otherwise, he quietly listens as I recount the evening.

“He sounds like a jackass.”

I laugh. “That’s what you say every time I tell you about a date.”

“And how often am I right?”

“A lot of the times,” I acknowledge.

“Exactly. Okay, I’m gonna get off here and let you do whatever it is you do now that you’re in college. Study, hopefully. Call if you need me. I’ll talk to you soon. I love you.”

“I love you too, Daddy.”

We hang up and I close my eyes for a moment. I don’t know why my parents’ divorce surprised me so much. My brother, Gregory, says he knew it was coming. I was apparently oblivious to whatever problems my parents were having. I thought they were happy and still in love. They were the high school sweethearts who would grow old together.

Or not, as it turns out.

I was pissed at both of my parents. Mom for asking for it, though Dad swears to this day it was mutual, and Dad for agreeing to it so easily. Mom asked, Dad gave in, they separated, and later, they made it official. Dad even bought himself a present! He bought a new truck. Who the hell does that? And maybe it’s crazy for me to still want them together, but their lame excuse for divorcing was they “grew apart.” Well, grow back together! They put no effort into trying to keep their marriage intact.

That is what pisses me off the most.

My phone beeps with a text from an unfamiliar number.

Unknown: Hey, it’s Logan. Miss me yet? Too soon?

I laugh and save his number before responding.

Me: Yes, it’s too soon.

Logan: Well, what about my marriage proposal?

Me: Having dinner at your sister’s is not a date, so no answer for you yet.

Logan: That’s true. When can I see you again? I’m asking now because you must have so many guys chasing after you that I need you to pencil me into the next available free space in your calendar.

Me: Depends. What are we doing?

Logan: I’ll give you options and you can pick. My brother-in-law plays hockey. Option #1: We can go to a game. Yes or pass to option two?

A hockey game? That might be fun. Dad watches the Rebels so I’ve seen a few pro games on TV before. I don’t know if he’s talking about a pro game or not. They didn’t really talk about Sydney’s husband while we were at her house. Either way, it’ll be fun.

Me: Sounds like fun. When are you thinking?

It takes a few minutes before the next text comes in.

Logan: Thursday night. Will that work?

Me: Yep.

Logan: Can’t wait. Gotta go. Savannah is annoyed Lo-Lo is paying more attention to his phone than her. Talk soon.

I smile. It’s sweet that he went back to his sister’s house to visit with his niece. He obviously loves his family. That’s a good trait to have. I put my phone away, grab my laptop and a textbook, and continue working on one of my first papers of the semester until my phone rings again with a call from a friend I met on campus.

“It’s Saturday! Why aren’t you hitting up parties?” Suzanne asks. “Please tell me you aren’t studying.”

“School first.”

I imagine she’s rolling her eyes right about now as she says, “You’re missing out on so much.” That’s what she always says, but so far, I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything. I still go to parties, meet boys, and have plenty of fun. What’s wrong with staying in here and there to prioritize? Not to mention, the course-load can be freaking ridiculous in college. Schoolwork is all I have time for sometimes. The semester practically just started; I have no plans to get behind any time soon.

“Are you sure you don’t want to come? I could pick you up.”

“I’m good.”

She groans and hangs up without another word. She’s clearly on her way to one of those parties I’m missing out on.

The night is quiet. Mom checks in on me like I’m a five-year-old who needs supervision still. When she opens my door to poke her head in, I simply point to my textbook and go back to work, ignoring her. I love my mom, I do, but ever since she kicked Dad out, she has been way too obsessed with us.

I manage to get the first draft of my paper done around eleven. Perfect time to stop and head to bed. Tomorrow is a new day. I’m playing at the coffeehouse again and then who knows what I’ll get into.


I first learned of the coffeehouse when I was simply walking around one day. I wanted to get away from home and here was a place that wanted people to sing for the customers. Jackpot. Some people in the coffeehouse pay no attention to me. Others like to watch and listen, but very few are as captivated as Logan was yesterday.

Today is a day where no one cares. That’s okay. I play my set, collect the few tips I manage to earn, and head out. The park Logan and I went to is calling my name. The park is my favorite place to go, play, and write new songs. January isn’t the ideal time to go, but I don’t mind. And today, I’m wearing Logan’s hoodie to help keep me warm. Mom eyed me hard when I walked out of the house with it on. She was dying to ask me where I was going, and I was completely prepared to give her a vague answer.

Who cares where I’m going? Who cares if I’m wearing a guy’s hoodie, which smells totally amazing? I could’ve died and gone to heaven when I put it on yesterday. What is it with guys’ hoodies anyway? They always smell so freaking good and wear so much better. At least he isn’t around to see that I’m wearing it again today. I’m not sure if he’d smirk and find it cute or think I’m crazy. You never know with guys.

Sitting at the same bench as yesterday, I bring my legs up to criss-cross them and lay my notebook on the side next to me. There’s one song I’ve been working on for a month. Nothing is flowing well: not the music nor the lyrics. It’s irking me so much. Everything is right there on the tip of my pencil, but it’s like my hand is frozen and can’t write down anything. The signals cross somewhere between my brain and my hand.

Closing my eyes, I breathe in and out for a minute or so before my hands find their place on my guitar. The notes strum out slowly and surely until I reach the part where the song abruptly ends. I start again, this time softly singing to myself. The words die, but the notes manage to continue a little bit longer and I hurry to jot them down before starting from the beginning once again. My process repeats like this over and over, sometimes writing down words, other times notes, until I mold and edit and complete the song. Once done, I grab my notebook and look over my notes and scribbles.

“You are amazing.”

Screaming, I drop the notebook and clutch my guitar to my chest. My heart hammers in my chest as I look up and see Logan.

He grins as he closes the distance between us, picks up my notebook, and sits next to me. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you,” he says as he hands back my notebook. The fact that he doesn’t even look makes me feel good. Why, I don’t know. He was basically spying on me just now, so him not looking doesn’t exactly equate to a respect of privacy. But somehow, it does.

“What are you doing here?”

“I was driving by and I saw you. I drive by this place all the time, but never paid much attention to it before. Savannah and I normally go to one closer to their house, or just stay and play in their backyard.” His eyes drift down to his hoodie and his grin grows, but he doesn’t say anything else. “Should I go? I don’t want to keep you from working.”

“I’m finished, actually.”

“Is that a subtle acceptance for me to stay?”

I smile and nod. “Sure. How was your night with Savannah?”

“Good. Savannah, Andrew, and I all played together while Syd snuck off to relax. I may have let Savannah eat some ice cream since she wasn’t around.” Logan grins at his sneaky accomplishment and I laugh.

“You’re a good uncle.”

“It’s fun. Speaking of which, what do you like to do for fun other than serenade people?”

“Live the college life.”

Logan chuckles and smiles, almost to himself. “Parties, drinking, and all-nighters?”

“Well, I’m not twenty-one yet, so...”

He laughs. “You’re in college, though.”

“That’s very stereotypical thinking, Logan,” I tease.

“If I’m wrong, I’ll apologize.” His brows shoot up while he waits for me to prove him wrong. Since I have drunk at college parties before, I can’t. It’s a true bummer, especially when he gets this cocky grin on his face.

“What do you do for fun?”

Logan shrugs. “Not much anymore. I work, hang with Sydney and the kids, and find pretty girls who sing to hang out with.”

I roll my eyes hard at that last bit. “I think you’re trying too hard to butter me up.”

“It’s not working?”

“Not really.”

He laughs. “Come on then. Let’s get out of here. Trust me enough to ride with me this time?”

Instead of answering, I let him take my hand and pull me up. After putting my guitar and notebook into my car, I lock the doors, grab my purse, and follow Logan to his car. When he heads to his door, I hesitate as I stand next to mine. My dad’s voice filters through my mind.

If they don’t open the door for you, you don’t go, Kayla. You’re a woman, a lady, and too many guys these days forget how to treat one. Don’t let them treat you any less than the absolute best. And that includes opening every door for you.

Dad drilled various versions of that into me from a fairly early age. It still trips me up to this day when a guy doesn’t do it. I always hesitate, hear my daddy’s voice, and wonder what to do. Making a guy open my door for me has ended badly, believe it or not. Dad will always say that proves they aren’t worth it.

The sound of the window rolling down lets me know that I’ve been pondering this for too long. “What are you doing? Having second thoughts?” Logan teases.

Well, only one way to find out how Logan will react. I lean down to look in at him. “I don’t know what your daddy taught you, but mine taught me that if I was with a man, I wouldn’t have to touch a door handle.”

His eyes nearly pop out of his head as he scrambles out of the car. “Shit, Kayla. Sorry. I was too excited about the fact that you’re going somewhere with me,” he says, the words rushing out of his mouth as he rounds the front of the car. “I swear I have manners and chivalry isn’t dead and all that stuff.”

I can’t help but laugh. “It’s okay.”

“Here.” He seems so flustered that he hands me my seatbelt. At least he doesn’t try to buckle me in. With amusement, I watch as he triple-checks that all my limbs are inside the car before he closes the door and jogs around to the other side. “Sorry,” he repeats.

“I didn’t mean to embarrass you,” I tell him seriously. I’m starting to feel bad about his reaction. “My dad is old-fashioned and so serious about those things, I can’t help but think about it.”

Logan reaches over to take my hand as he backs up and then pulls out of the park. “Honestly, it’s fine. You caught me off guard is all. I don’t think any girl has ever demanded it before. They should. I’m normally more on top of my game, but I don’t know what happened. Do you have instances like that often?”

“More than my dad would approve of. They don’t all go so well either.”

“Really?” Logan’s voice hitches a bit with surprise.

“Yeah. One guy left me stranded because I essentially said the same thing to him as I did to you and it pissed him off. Some are miffed and do it, but I never hear from them again. Then, there are guys like you who do it and everything is fine.”

“A guy left you stranded?” he asks incredulously.

“Yeah, my dad was pissed because I called him to come pick me up. I was upset over it and he was the only one I wanted to call.”

“That’s insane. I’m sorry, Kayla. Sounds like you have a good dad, though.”

“Yeah. Where are we going?”

“You’ll see,” he says with a smile.

We’re quiet the rest of the way, but then we arrive and I’m confused. “What is this place?” There are a ton of people out here for it to be as chilly as it is today. There are also at least two dozen trucks lined up.

“It’s like a food truck convention of sorts.” I must wrinkle my nose because he says, “Hey, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. Some of the best food I’ve ever had has come off of a food truck. It’ll be great, I promise. Don’t move.”

I laugh and unbuckle my seatbelt as I wait for him to move around to open my door for me. He takes my hand, tells me to leave my purse if I want, and then leads the way into the rather massive crowd.

“Here’s the game plan. We’ll pick one thing per truck and share. That way we can try as many as possible. I would like to think I’ve gotten good at doing this, so do you give me free rein to choose for us?”

“Go ahead.”

He grins and pulls me along. The line is long for every single truck, which is good. It gives Logan plenty of time to scan the menu. My phone vibrates in my pocket and I take a quick peek.

Mom: When are you coming home?

Me: Don’t know.

Mom: I need to know how much dinner to fix, Kayla.

Me: Count me out.

After eating with him, I won’t be hungry and Mom won’t have to worry about feeding me. I focus on the menu as I slip my phone into my pocket and wonder what Logan will order. This truck is all about burgers with sides like fries and mac and cheese. Logan picks a burger and fries. He’s already breaking his one thing per truck rule. After a couple minutes of searching, we find a place to sit down and eat.

He slides the containers in front of me. “You first,” he says as he steals a fry, causing me to laugh.

I grab the burger and take a big bite. Holy moly. I don’t know what all is on this thing or what seasoning they used, but it might just be the best burger I’ve ever had. I hand it to Logan and grab a fry. Those are pretty good, too.

“This is the best date ever already,” I say when he hands the burger back. “This burger is delicious.”

His grin is cocky. “I told you. Just wait. There are more to try.”

“I’m ready.” There’s a brief lull before I say, “Can I ask you something?”

“Let’s hear it.”

“You’ve mentioned Sydney, your stepmom and your dad, but not your mom. How come? What’s your relationship with her like?” The moment the words leave my mouth, I know I asked the wrong question. Logan tenses ever so slightly, but it’s enough that I notice.

Have I screwed up already?

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Goodbye, 2017!

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It's time to recap the whirlwind that has been 2017. I'll talk about my life, my books, and books I read.

Personally, this year has been kinda crazy, but also kinda great. My momma and I went to the Penguins outdoor game in February and went to the Angels & Sirens Author Event in Pittsburgh the following week (we also caught a Penguins game while we were there). We also went to For the Love of Books and Raleigh signing in August.

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We made a few trips to Florida, the most exciting was for the birth of my new nephew, Perry. I also got to attend my first home opener for a hockey game, which was pretty fun, even if it was for the Canes. ;) Lastly, I graduated from college and treated myself to a Penguins game when they came to Raleigh a couple of days ago. I also finally started sewing, which y'all already know about because I blog about it.

Now, as far as publishing wise, I released 3 books and 2 novellas (all in the Carolina Rebels series). Plus, I gave my newsletter subscribers an exclusive short story from the Carolina Rebels world. I also announced 3 releases for 2018 (Steady, Carolina Rebels Series: Volume One, and Worth the Risk). I think things went pretty well this year. Thanks for another year of support!

And last, but certainly not least, my reading goals. I wanted to read 100 books, at least 12 paperbacks, and the ABC challenge, where the title starts with a letter from the alphabet.

I read 123 of books, 34 paperbacks (51 if I count the picture books I read), and I missed X and Q in the ABC challenge because time got away from me in December. Also, 21 of my total were read for school.

So, my favorites!

There's my favorites! Now, I decided to keep some more detailed notes this year, so here are some interesting (to me at least) highlights about books I read in 2017.

- Most of the titles started with the letter H, with T and F the runner ups.

- Most of the books I read were bought in the year 2017, but some were from as far back as 2010!

- Most of the books I read were ebooks, but paperbacks weren't that far behind!

- 78 were in a series and 45 were standalones.

- I finished 7 series, started 17 series, and decided not to finish 18 series.

So, there are some fun facts in addition to my favorites from 2017! I think I'll continue to keep track of books this way because it was really interesting to see some of the figures. 

What were your highlights from 2017?

Sneak Peek: Chapter One of Steady!

Chapter One

Logan

Life sucks. It has ever since I graduated from college last year. My best friend, Carey, has moved in with her boyfriend. My sister, Sydney, has gotten married and given me a nephew to love on, in addition to my niece. Yet, here I am. Single. Struggling to find a job that fits the degree I earned. Bored as fuck with life. I almost want to go back to college when life was more fun. Almost.

Everyone made out as if life after college would be like cruising on a highway. Easygoing and you’d go places. That has not happened for me. I’m still working the sucky job I got while in college because I can’t find one more appropriate. The girls I would see don’t appeal to me anymore. Life has turned into a cycle where I go to work, come home, mope, and sometimes beg Sydney to let her kids come over. I don’t actually have to beg, but it’s sad that a baby and a three-year-old are the highlights of my life right now.

My sigh echoes around my lonely apartment. When Carey left, I decided to move too. A one-bedroom apartment made more sense money-wise and space-wise than a three-bedroom. Sydney told me I could move in with them, but that would make me feel even more pathetic than I already do. Besides, I do not want to be in the Rhett household. I’m over there enough as it is. I can’t see her husband, Ian, being happy with me spending even more time there. I like my own space, too.

Ever since I graduated, it’s like I immediately fell into this rut. A rut which keeps getting deeper and deeper. If something doesn’t happen soon, I’ll be convinced that there’s no way out. I need a new job. I need some excitement. I need something other than the exact life I’m currently living.

My phone rings with a call from Sydney. It’s tempting to ignore it, just because I’m in no mood to pretend like my life is where I want it, but I don’t ignore her calls.

“Hey, Syd.”

“Hey! I haven’t heard from you all week! What’s going on?”

“Nothing,” I answer honestly. Absolutely fucking nothing is happening in my life. That’s the problem.

“Well, what are you up to this weekend?”

“Nothing,” I repeat.

Sydney is quiet for a moment. “What’s going on, Logan? Please don’t say nothing.”

“It’s nothing to worry about, Syd. Just in a mood. How’s my niece and nephew?”

I’m thankful that she lets it go. “I think we’ve finally nipped her jealousy in the bud.” It didn’t take long after baby Andrew was born before Savannah decided while she loved her baby brother, she didn’t like all the attention he was getting. He was born back in October; it’s now January. “Or have a handle on it, at least,” Sydney continues. “Andrew is cute and adorable and a good baby as usual. Except for when he’s not.”

I laugh. “Maybe he has more of Ian in him than we thought.”

“That’s probably it,” she agrees. “Savannah wants to see her Lo-Lo.”

I snort. “Ian must be gone on a trip.” Ever since Ian entered Savannah’s life, she only wants to see me when her daddy’s gone. Well, that’s when she wants to see me the most.

“She asked me yesterday before he left, actually. Want to come over for dinner?”

“Sure. I’ll be over in a bit.”

I pack a bag, just in case Savannah wants me to spend the night. She often does. Before I can deal with an active little kid, I need some coffee. The lack of energy pulsing through my veins is equivalent to the energy in my life. Quite simply, there is none. With my bag all packed, I head out for my favorite coffeehouse.

“Are you fucking kidding me?” I mutter under my breath.

They’re closed for remodeling. Great way to lose customers. I pull up the map on my phone and see there’s another one close by. I like to go to non-corporate coffeehouses, so while there may be five that are closer to me than the one I’m going to, they are not for me.

When I walk into the store, my brain acknowledges that music is playing. However, the only thing I clearly focus on is the relief that there is not a line. I step up to the counter and order my coffee. That’s when I hear the most angelic, magnificent, powerful voice. Whirling around, I discover it’s not just music, but live music.

There’s a small stage in the corner by the window. A girl sits on a stool with a guitar in her lap. Her hands move fluently; her eyes are closed. Her lips move with the words of the song.

“Hello? Here’s your coffee.”

I face the cashier and take my drink. My body seemingly moves on its own to find a seat to watch her. Her foot taps. Her body sways as if she’s completely lost in the song. Her hands move with such grace on the guitar. The song reaches its height and man, the girl has a set of lungs on her. I’m completely mesmerized. She’s beautiful, too. Well, from what I can see. The guitar hides some of her. She has ridiculously long, wavy black hair. It looks to be almost to her hips. What color are her eyes? When will she open her eyes?

At some point, I should look away, but I can’t. She’s too lost in her song, and I’m too lost in watching her sing.

The song comes to a close and green eyes flash open, landing right on me. Again, I should look away instead of staring at her, but hell, she’s pretty. Fuck, a slow smile rises. I smile back and mouth marry me before I can think better of it. I’m too swept away to think clearly. She laughs; the mic echoes the sound and intensifies my infatuation. She thanks the clapping crowd as she steps off the stool. Once she collects her tips, she leaves the tiny stage.

With her guitar in hand, she walks over to me. I stand and shake the hand she offers.

“Kayla.” The smile on her face is enough to make me want to drop me to my knees and propose again.

“Logan.”

“Did you propose to me, Logan?” she asks with a giggle.

“Depends on what your answer would be.”

She sweeps her eyes over me. “I deserve a date before I can answer, don’t you think?”

“When are you done here?” I ask.

Her eyebrows rise in surprise. “That was my last song.”

“Then let’s go.” I hold out my hand. It hovers in the air for a solid thirty seconds.

“I’m driving myself.” When I nod in acceptance, she finally takes my hand. Hers is soft and slightly smaller in mine. She waves to the cashier as we walk out. I show her what my car looks like before we walk to her car. I stand silently, enjoy how she glances over at me while she puts her guitar safely away in its case, and then I open the driver’s door for her.

“Just follow me.”

“I will.”

At the second stoplight, my phone lights up with a text from Sydney and the plans I made crash down on me. Damn it. We’ll make a pit stop. She’s likely told Savannah I’m coming. I can’t let that little girl down. I’ll drop in for five minutes and tell Savannah I have to go, but I’ll come back tomorrow. It’ll be easier for me to let her down in person than to let Sydney be the bad guy.

We pull into Sydney’s driveway and I get out to see Kayla rethinking this entire thing. I told her we were going out and we come to a person’s house. I walk to her car. She rolls down the window.

“So, here’s the thing. I forgot I was supposed to come to my sister’s for dinner; I just need five minutes and we can go.”

Skepticism creeps into her eyes. “You couldn’t call her instead?”

“No. This is simpler.” She probably doesn’t understand how, but that’s okay. “Would you like to come in with me?” I’d hate to leave her sitting in the car.

“To meet your sister?” Her head tilts a little bit and the skepticism continues to rise.

I laugh. “I’m starting to think you don’t believe I’m meeting my sister at all. That settles it.” I open her car door. “Come on.” I hold my hand out.

She gets out of the car and takes my hand. “Were you hoping I’d say no? What will your girlfriend think?”

I laugh again. “It’s my sister. Well, technically, she’s my stepsister, but she might as well be my sister.” We walk up to the door and I open it without knocking. “Savannah, Lo-Lo is here!” I shout.

Kayla gives me another one of those brow-raising looks. Little pounding footsteps come and there she is. I release Kayla’s hand to crouch and pick her up.

“How’s my favorite niece?”

“Good. Who’s that?” She points to Kayla.

“That’s my new friend, Kayla. Where’s your mommy?”

She points upstairs. I start walking and motion for Kayla to follow us. We find her in Andrew’s room, changing his diaper. “Oh! You didn’t tell me you were bringing someone. Sorry,” she says to Kayla.

“I can’t stay,” I say, earning a glare from Sydney. “I’m sorry!”

“You told me you were coming for dinner and all I’ve heard since then is how Lo-Lo is coming over. Now, you’re telling me you aren’t staying? Why? Did you just meet her?” She glances at Kayla and smiles. “No offense and I’m not angry at you.”

“You’re leaving?” Savannah pouts.

“See,” Sydney says as she picks Andrew up.

“We can stay.”

Everyone looks at Kayla. “For real?” I ask.

She shrugs with a smile. “You proposed, only makes sense that I meet the family.”

You what?” Sydney exclaims as I grin at Kayla. I think I’m in love already.

“Do you have enough for one more, Syd?” I ask.

“Of course.”

“Then, let’s eat.”

We head back downstairs while Sydney talks to Kayla. She finally introduces herself, learns Kayla’s name, and finds out that I did indeed just meet her. They leave me with the kids while they bring dinner to the table. Kayla doesn’t look like she feels out of place. She looks like she belongs here.

“What’s this proposing mess, Logan?” Sydney asks as we sit down to eat.

“She was singing in the coffeehouse. When she finished, I asked her to marry me. She laughed, but agreed to go out with me first.”

“He didn’t ask. He mouthed it at me,” Kayla corrects.

“And you just said yes?”

“I am a catch, you know,” I say with a roll of my eyes.

“Lo-Lo,” Savannah says, stealing my attention.

The bad thing about having dinner here is that Kayla is free to talk mostly to Sydney. Savannah talks to me too much for me to talk to Kayla. Regardless, it’s nice to hear her voice. I keep imagining her singing. We need to escape. I need to know more about her than Sydney does.

The moment dinner is over, I stand. “I love y’all, but we gotta hit the road.”

“No, Lo-Lo!” Savannah shouts.

“I’ll come back tomorrow or tonight to see you, but you have to be a good girl.” She pouts her lips, which makes me laugh. I lean over to kiss her forehead and then stand to kiss Andrew on the forehead, too. “Thanks for dinner, Syd. I’ll call you later. Call me if you need anything.”

“Have I called you once while Ian is away?”

I snort. “All the time.” It’s an exaggeration, but she does call here and there.

“Thank you for letting me intrude,” Kayla says. Impatiently, I wait while goodbyes are said once and for all. “Where to now, Lo-Lo?” she teases.

“Somewhere we can talk. Ideas?”

“Follow me.”

I’d follow her anywhere. To Antarctica to freeze to death? Done. To the pits of Hell? Done. To Heaven? I’m practically already there with her. But for right now, we get into our respective cars and I follow her to a park. It’s a bit chilly outside, but if this is where she’s comfortable, it works for me. I grab a hoodie from the backseat and an extra in case she needs one. It turns out she doesn’t have one, which makes her smile as I offer one of mine.

“Thanks.”

I shrug and pull mine over my head while we walk over to a picnic table, straddling the bench.

“So, what did you want to talk about?”

“You.”

“What about me?” she asks. She goes to stick her hands in the kangaroo pocket, but I grab them in mine first. Wow. Her hands are soft. I wasn’t imagining it earlier. Kayla flicks her gaze back and forth between our hands and my eyes with pure curiosity.

“How long have you been singing?”

“Since I could talk.”

“Do you know you’re amazing?” I give her a little smirk; that, my question, or both makes her laugh.

“I think I’m decent, but thank you for the compliment.”

My thumbs rub over her knuckles. “Why do you sing in the coffeehouse?”

Kayla shrugs. “It’s a great way to earn extra cash and a way for me to perform, even if it is just in a coffeehouse.”

“What do you normally do, if this is extra cash?”

She frowns for a moment. “Nothing. I’m a sophomore in college.”

I sit upright. “What? For real?”

“You don’t go to Whaley Jones University?” Her eyes fall to the WJU hoodie I’m currently wearing.

“No, I graduated last year.” My gaze falls to our hands. Well, this puts a new spin on things. I hadn’t considered where she’d be in life or her age or anything of the sort. I simply assumed we were in the same place and the same age.

Kayla dips her head and leans forward. “Well, then.” Her voice changes with a tone of conspiracy. “It sounds like I have an older man after my heart.”

I laugh. “Sounds like. Is music your major then?”

Kayla sighs. It’s such a heavy, disappointed sigh. “No. I’m declaring anthropology as my major and music as my minor.”

“How come? It doesn’t sound like you’re thrilled about it.”

“I can’t see my parents approving of it.”

“But music is what you want to do?” She nods. “Do you know what I’ve learned?”

“What?”

“When you grow up, you have to make the decisions you want because guess what? Your parents won’t be living your life and as an adult, they lose control anyway. They’ll get over it. It’s your life; do what you want.”

Kayla chuckles. “Yeah, I’m not that brave yet. Music is what I want to do, but I’m not sure what they would think of it. I would like their approval, whether I technically need it or not. And right now, I do rely on them, so I feel like they have a say.”

“Understandable.”

“Have you always been close to your stepsister?”

I flare my eyes. “Ooh, the girl is becoming interested in me now. About time.” She laughs and I gather my thoughts on my relationship with Sydney. “We didn’t care for one another at first, but we became friends.” I shrug a shoulder. “I don’t know. We just got close and have stayed that way. It’s why I call her my sister instead, because I consider her my sister. Do you have siblings?”

She nods. “A younger brother, but we never get along. Or never as well as you seem to get along with Sydney.” Her mouth opens, but she hesitates. “Can I ask you something personal?”

“Sure.”

“What was it like when your parents divorced? How did you feel about it?”

Out of all the questions she could’ve asked me, I never would’ve thought of those. I try to think back on my parents’ divorce. “I don’t know. It happened when I was seven. My dad didn’t marry my stepmom until way later. All I really remember about it is my dad saying he wasn’t gonna live with us anymore, but he still loved us, and me begging to live with him.”

“Oh.” Kayla seems disappointed in my answer.

“Are your parents together?”

She shakes her head. “They’re officially divorced as of last year.”

“Not taking it so well?”

“Not really,” she admits. With a deep breath, her eyes find mine. “Let’s talk about something else. What was your first impression of me?”

“Well, I heard you before I saw you. I was hooked. And when I saw you, I was swept away because you were so beautiful and I wanted to see what color your eyes were. You?”

She smirks, which gives me a heads-up that something funny is coming. “My exact thought was why is this creepy hot guy staring at me?”

“Hot, huh?” I smile.

“Don’t forget creepy.”

“I think you threw that in there for your own amusement. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be here with me now.”

“Maybe. Maybe I like to be a stupid college kid sometimes.” Kayla pulls her hands from mine. “It’s dark out here. I should go.”

I stand with her. “Can I have your number?”

Kayla glances around, stalling. She’ll say no. I don’t know why when nothing has gone wrong, unless she’s here to humor me.

“Yes, you can,” she finally says. I whip out my phone so fast and have it ready before she can take her next breath, making her laugh.

Once she recites it, she goes to take the hoodie off. “Keep it for now,” I say. “I don’t want you to be cold on your way home.”

The smile she gives me is a killer. “Thanks, Logan. I’ll see you later.”

Yes. Yes, you will.

Preorder on Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo

Lindsay's (Mis)Adventures in Sewing & Quilting: Bowl Cozies

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It's been quite awhile since I posted about my latest (mis)adventures, but that's because this latest project was a secret. I was sewing Christmas presents! But since all have been delivered, I can now post about how things went.

So, as you learned from the title, this latest project was a bowl cozy. I learned about these from a group I'm in and instantly knew I had to at least make one for myself, but the more I thought about it, the more I thought my family and a few friends might enjoy one as well!

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Here's what mine looks like. Bowl cozies are essentially hot pads for hot (or cold) bowls. Just plop a bowl in there and never fear burning or freezing your fingers off again! 

These were really fun to make and fairly easy! 

But this wouldn't be me if I didn't have a few issues.

For most of them, I used pre-cut fabric (layer cakes), but on one, I didn't. And I had to buy more fabric because I messed up while cutting the fabric.

I saw my seam ripper quite a few times, but I also broke two needles whiles making these gifts. *sniff sniff*

Everyone was pretty excited about their gifts and I have a little more experience under my belt now. I can definitely make these without looking at the pattern.

I'm calling this a success. Time to figure out what will be my first project of 2018!

The next Carolina Rebels book is up for preorder!

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EJ fans, have you heard? Worth the Risk is the next Carolina Rebels novel, and it will release April 12, 2018! Read on for all the details! :)

EJ Bertuzzi didn’t expect to be a father so soon in life, and he’s had to rely on others for help when it comes to taking care of his little princess, Bree. At first, it was his mom, and after a long, excruciating search, it’s now his attractive nanny, Raelynn. But EJ has some insecurities. Not to mention, the last thing he needs to do is something to cause his perfect nanny to quit.

Raelynn Woods is a young single mom who has had many lows in her life with the only bright spot being her son, Jackson. For the past five years, she's done whatever she's had to do to make ends meet for her and Jackson. Raelynn has a difficult time trusting others and letting people in, but she hopes working as EJ's nanny can help change that and bring some much needed stability into their lives.

EJ and Raelynn battle with their attraction to one another while struggling to keep a friendly, yet professional relationship. If they give each other a chance, they might just discover the outcome is worth the risk.

Get it on iBooks | Nook | Kobo

(Amazon linking coming as soon as I can list it on that site!)

Three Terrific Reads

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Hey, y'all! It's time for me to share my love of reading with you!

Three Terrific Reads is where I share the top three books I read this past month and would recommend! 

Read on for three terrific reads you should check out! Be sure to share your top three reads as well! :)


I most definitely have to share this book. I read it and immediately had to read the next available books. I'm now anxiously waiting for the next book in the series to release as well. If you're in the mood for a YA book with dragons, check it out!

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Dragons exist. They're ferocious. And they're smart: Before they were killed off by slayer-knights, they rendered a select group of eggs dormant, so their offspring would survive. Only a handful of people know about this, let alone believe it – these "Slayers" are descended from the original knights, and are now a diverse group of teens that includes Tori, a smart but spoiled senator's daughter who didn't sign up to save the world.

The dragon eggs have fallen into the wrong hands. The Slayers must work together to stop the eggs from hatching. They will fight; they will fall in love. But will they survive?

Get it on Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo


Let me start by saying I love Sarah Dessen. I adore this cover and I love this book even more. I'm 99.9% sure it's my new favorite book by her, so of course, it's on the list this month!

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Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that's why she's cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm's length. But Ambrose isn't about to be discouraged, now that he's met the one girl he really wants. 

Sarah Dessen’s many, many fans will adore her latest, a richly satisfying, enormously entertaining story that has everything—humor, romance, and an ending both happy and imperfect, just like life itself.

Get it on Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo


I haven't read a book like Ripper in a while, but I'm glad I read it. It was pretty good and easily held my attention!

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"I felt hot breath on my neck, and, horrified, I knew that he stood behind me . . ." It's 1888, and after her mother's sudden death, Abbie is sent to live with her grandmother in a posh London neighborhood. When she begins volunteering at Whitechapel Hospital, Abbie finds she has a passion for helping the abused and sickly women there. But within days, patients begin turning up murdered at the hands of Jack the Ripper. As more women are murdered, Abbie realizes that she and the Ripper share a strange connection: she has visions showing the Ripper luring his future victims to their deaths--moments before he turns his knife upon them. Her desperation to stop the massacres leads Abbie on a perilous hunt for the killer. And her search leads to a mysterious brotherhood whose link to the Ripper threatens not just London but all of mankind.

Get it on Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo


Those are my three terrific reads from November! What are yours?

Three Terrific Reads

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Hey, y'all! It's time for me to share my love of reading with you!

Three Terrific Reads is where I share the top three books I read this past month and would recommend! 

Read on for three terrific reads you should check out! :)


Catherine Gayle is an auto-buy, go-to author for me. I can always count on her for a good read and Rain Dance was no different!

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He's in a drought. No rain. No goals. No women. 
She has what it takes to quench his thirst. 

Ethan Higgins, a defenseman for the Tulsa Thunderbirds, is in a rut. He hasn't scored a goal in ages, and he hasn't had a woman in his bed for even longer. The only thing in his favor is that he gets to spend time with his son when the T-Birds play at home on the weekends. Determined to be nothing like his abusive father, Ethan sets out to show his son how a real man behaves, and Natalie Turner gives him the perfect opportunity to do so. 

Natalie has nowhere to turn when her boyfriend gets physical with her, this time in public--at least not until Ethan steps in to offer her a safe place to stay. Wary of trusting anyone, especially another hockey player, and even more so one as rough and tough as Ethan, Natalie attempts to resist the lure she feels toward the protective man. When Ethan's son does a Rain Dance, the skies open up. But will soaking their hardened and cracked hearts be enough to end the drought?

Get it on Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo | Google Play


I love this series and somehow skipped over this book between reading book two and four. Upon discovering this, I had to read it immediately! So glad I did!

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The ride of her life . . . 
Once upon a time, Carissa Teodoro believed in happy endings. Money, marriage, motherhood: everything came easy---until she woke up to the ugly truth about her Prince Charming. Now a struggling, single mom and stranded by a flat tire, Carissa's pondering her mistakes when a vaguely familiar knight rides to her rescue on a ton of horsepower.

Climb on and hold tight . . . 
In high school, Carson Steele was a bad boy loner who put Carissa on a pedestal where she stayed far beyond his reach. Today, he's the hard-bodied biker known only as Joker, and from the way Carissa's acting, it's clear she's falling fast. While catching her is irresistible, knowing what to do with her is a different story. A good girl like Carissa is the least likely fit with the Chaos Motorcycle Club. Too bad holding back is so damned hard. Now, as Joker's secrets are revealed and an outside threat endangers the club, Joker must decide whether to ride steady with Carissa---or ride away forever . . .

Get it on Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo | Google Play


Sawyer Bennett is another auto-buy go-to author of mine, so I had to snap up her latest release!

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The best of friends. 
Two men. One woman. 
A sinful playground called The Wicked Horse. 

Entrepreneur turned millionaire, Dane Hawthorne, has been known to get his kicks at The Wicked Horse Vegas, and he has no shortage of beautiful women waiting for a shot at him. Driven to succeed, no matter if he’s in the boardroom or the bedroom, Dane never backs down from a challenge. 

Avril Carrigan isn’t the type of woman to take risks in her personal life but after a broken heart and too much liquid courage, Avril decides to best way to get over one man, is to get under another. Looking to experience all the debauchery she’s heard about from her best friend and business partner, Dane, she requests one thing of him—take her to The Wicked Horse. 

The request seems simple. One friend helping another in her time of need. But now that they’ve crossed the threshold, things aren’t as easy as they once seemed. Not only is Dane looking at Avril in a new light, but so is their other business partner and best friend, Andrew Collings. As Dane’s envy blooms, he wonders if he made the right decision when he agreed to show Avril his wicked world. 

What happens when the lines of friendship are blurred and boundaries are crossed? Will their relationships survive or will jealousy tear them all apart?

Get it on Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo | Google Play


That's all for this month! Have you read any of these books or books by these authors? What were your favorite books from those you read in October?

WIP Progress Report

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- Title: Untitled (working on this!)
- Genre: Hockey Romance
- Release Date: Spring 2018
- Series? Carolina Rebels 

The first draft of the next installment in the Carolina Rebels series is DONE! In case you've missed it, the next Rebel is EJ! And the leading lady? Raelynn. :)

I finished this WIP about a week ahead of my deadline, which is good, because that means I can wrap up a few other things and truly take two weeks off. I plan to read, read, read, and sew, sew, sew!

I'm excited for a break before I return to these characters and work on them some more. I hope to settle on a title, write up a blurb, and get a cover created soon, too. Stay tuned because I'll post once it's ready to share here!

That's all for this report! Continue reading for updates on other projects.

Other Projects:
- Details for the first book, Steady, in my New Adult Romance series, Hearts in Carolina, has been announced! 

- As soon as my secret project (a newsletter exclusive) is ready, it'll be shared with my newsletter subscribers. I'm working on edits for this right now!

- The last Carolina Rebels book, Attached to You, just released last week, ICYMI!

 

You can now read all about Brayden!

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The wait is long over, y'all! Brayden's book, Attached to You, in the Carolina Rebels series released yesterday! I made cookies to celebrate. Sorry, I can't share. :(

But I can share all the info of his book with you!

Brayden Hayes is all work and no play. Meeting one woman is all it takes to finally force himself to find a balance between work on the ice and relationships away from it. If there’s one thing Brayden is sure of, it’s that he wants to keep her around and make their time together worthwhile.

Deanna Mitchell hops from guy to guy because she doesn’t want to settle for just anyone. She has made a lot of mistakes, but deciding to see Brayden is not one of them. She thinks. What she feels around him makes her think he could be the one.

While Deanna remains unsure, Brayden is going all in and he’s ready to face whatever problems arise. Together, they discover that finding a balance isn’t hard when you’re with the right person.

Get it on Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo | Google Play

Have you heard about my new series?

My new Hearts in Carolina series starts off on January 4, 2018 with Steady! And, if you've been reading the Carolina Rebels series, it's with a character you're already familiar with: Logan (Sydney's stepbrother) from It's Our Time

Steady is a New Adult Romance.

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A chance meeting and a spontaneous marriage proposal leads Logan Archer on a first date that turns his dull, unhappy life around. With her help, he finally lands his dream job. But what Logan really wants is his dream girl to spend his time with.

He’s certain that girl is Kayla. He’ll do whatever is necessary to secure a future with her.

Kayla Murphy might be able to turn down Logan’s many proposals, but she can’t resist his charm, his many nicknames for her, or his ability to make her laugh when it’s the last thing she wants to do.

But unwanted distractions threaten what these two are building together.

 

Get it on Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo

About the series: The novels will be set in North Carolina, loosely connected to one another, and can be read in any order. There will also be some crossover with my Carolina Rebels series on occasion, as seen with Steady.

Lindsay's (Mis)Adventures in Sewing & Quilting: My Nephew's Baby Quilt

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As I've mentioned in the past, I couldn't exactly say what this project was, but now I can because it's done and I've told and shown my brother that I made a baby quilt for his son. This has been quite the experience, but it has only solidified that I want to continue learning and exploring this new hobby of mine.

So, the last time I posted, it was time to start sewing the rows together. Once that was done, it was like steamrolling to the finish line!

There was laying out the batting (after cutting it), making my quilt sandwich, pinning it all together, sewing that, trimming the excess, turning it inside out, closing the opening, doing the topstitch, doing the ties with the yarn, and THEN...making and stitching on the label. After all of that? TA-DA! I was finished! Lindsay had a baby quilt! My first finished project!

The front of the baby quilt.

The front of the baby quilt.

The back of the quilt.

The back of the quilt.

This has been SO satisfying. I can't wait to use the same pattern and make one for Bartley. If I wasn't hooked and invested in this new hobby before, I definitely am now!

What I Learned:

- Next time, I'm buying 3 charm packs instead of 2. This way I can have more options when making my layout for the quilt top. Yes, that is still haunting me and that was from the very first step.

- Those yarn ties? So much faster to do when two people are working on them. Thanks for helping, Mom!

- I had an appreciation for quilts before, but WAY more now. These things take LOTS of time and effort and money. Getting something handmade should not be taken lightly! Heart, soul, and lots of effort goes into it!

Okay, enough learning, haha! That's all for this project. Check out the photos below to see those last few steps.

Three Terrific Reads

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Hey, y'all! We're all readers here, and I thought y'all might want to know what I've been reading and loving. I love sharing my love of reading and good books, so this is how I've decided to do it. At the end of every month, I'll share the top three books I read and would recommend during that month!

I read a few books this month, and some I really want to recommend! Read on for three terrific reads! :)


I finished a great series. Ever heard of the Addicted/Calloway Sisters series by Krista and Becca Ritchie? It's really good! Here's info on the first book, Addicted to You:

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She’s addicted to sex. He’s addicted to booze…the only way out is rock bottom.

No one would suspect shy Lily Calloway’s biggest secret. While everyone is dancing at college bars, Lily stays in the bathroom. To get laid. Her compulsion leads her to one-night stands, steamy hookups and events she shamefully regrets. The only person who knows her secret happens to have one of his own.

Loren Hale’s best friend is his bottle of bourbon. Lily comes at a close second. For three years, they’ve pretended to be in a real relationship, hiding their addictions from their families. They’ve mastered the art of concealing flasks and random guys that filter in and out of their apartment.

But as they sink beneath the weight of their addictions, they cling harder to their destructive relationship and wonder if a life together, for real, is better than a lie. Strangers and family begin to infiltrate their guarded lives, and with new challenges, they realize they may not just be addicted to alcohol and sex.

Their real vice may be each other.

Get it on AmazoniBooks | NookKobo 


Then, I read another series about a siren that was really cool. Rachel Higginson has always been a sure bet for good reads, so I knew these books would be awesome, and they were! Here's info on book one, The Rush:

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A life not her own—A future already decided.

Every facet of Ivy Pierce’s life is meticulously planned out and plotted. Cynical and jaded by sixteen, Ivy’s only hope is to escape the legacy she was born into. 

She has a plan, a carefully thought out, feasible plan. She just has to play by the rules until everything falls into place. Unfortunately as predictable as her life can be, she never sees Ryder Sutton coming. He tumbles into her life unimpressed and untouched by her and the life she lives. He’s an enigma to her. A gorgeous, frustrating, sincere mystery and a complete phenomenon in the ugly world she lives in. 

What blooms between them is a fiercely intense attraction that cannot be ignored. Even though they would both be better off without each other—Even if both their lives depend on staying apart.

Get it on Amazon


To finish off my top three of the month, I have a children's book to recommend. I bought a book to gift to a little girl and I, of course, gave it a read before passing it on. I love the Pout-Pout Fish books, and this one was just as great!

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Mr. Fish wants to help his friend Ms. Clam when she loses's her pearl, but though he's fast as a sailfish, as smart as dolphin, and as strong as a shark, Mr. Fish has a secret: he's scared of the dark!

Very young children will swim along with Mr. Fish as he journeys deep into the ocean to new and mysterious places. They will discover, as Mr. Fish does, the power of friendship to light the way through the big-big dark.

Get it on AmazoniBooks | NookKobo 

Back to Me is FREE!

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Hey, y'all! Guess what?! You can now start the Carolina Rebels series for free! That's because Back to Me doesn't cost even one penny right now! So, go, go, go and download your copy!

Get it on Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo | Google Play

Noah Ramsey has a great hockey career, a wonderful family, and a good best friend, but what he wants most is to be with the love of his life who walked away from him years ago. When he finds her at the airport, he realizes she's changed, and she's struggling with things she doesn't want to tell him about. Noah also realizes just how much she scarred him when she left.

Meredith Quick always plans everything out. She chose her tennis career over love in order to better succeed, but her plan dissolves when an injury threatens her career and her fiancé leaves her. Struggling through pain and the uncertainty of her future, she realizes her first misstep was walking away from Noah. She impulsively decides to go back to him while she attempts to put her life back together.

Reacquainting isn't easy when Noah doesn't quite trust Meredith to stay and Meredith struggles with overcoming the pain she's endured without him. Can they work through their issues and move forward, or will their past ruin things between them forever?

Get it on Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo | Google Play

Lindsay's (Mis)Adventures in Sewing & Quilting (#3)

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It's been since June since I posted one of these, too, but I have a good reason, I promise! 

I started a new project, deciding to set the (cursed) table runner off to the side. I haven't posted because it's a gift, but since my deadline has passed and it's been so long, I'm going to make it work.

My new project is like a 40x40 inch quilt and I have made loads of progress, but like I said, I missed my deadline and have a new one.

Since this is a gift, there are some photos I'm not including on the off chance that the recipient reads this post. But they will be shared once it's finished and they have the little quilt (hopefully by Christmas).

Picking out fabric is hard. There are loads of cute fabric, but geez! Finding the perfect fabric for this seemed impossible. But I did find some while I was Row by Row shopping in both Raleigh and in Morehead City. Score!

Then came something that was even HARDER! I had to lay out the fabric the way I wanted it. I spent at least four hours moving pieces of fabric around and just standing and staring at the layout to see if I liked it and was perfectly happy with it.

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With this particular project, the top of the quilt is charm squares, so there is no cutting involved, which I really enjoyed. After I had my layout, I was able to label my 9 rows and start sewing the squares together until I had 9 rows.

After that? Mom pressed the seams and then I pinned two rows together before I began sewing them together. I still have two rows left before I then have to start sewing the rows together again until I have a quilt top. EEK!

This, compared to my (cursed) table runner, has been a seamless process. (There is a sewing joke in there somewhere, haha!) Well, except for a few things, which you'll learn about in the What I Learned Section. There are more photos below as well!

What I Learned:

- Not all charm squares are created equally. At least, that's what I'm assuming. Because my seams can be perfect and somehow, it still turns out wrong. Plus, some of them do look bigger.

- My machine hates me every other time I work on it. I was only able to work on it for an hour yesterday because this black ooze/gunk started running down the needle and I couldn't wipe it all off. I'm hoping I have better luck fixing things today.

- The longer I do this, the more things I find I want to do. Like a bookshelf quilt. A rag quilt. A little quilt for Bartley (using the same pattern I'm using for this current project). And the list goes on and on and on!

That's it for this edition of my (Mis)Adventures, which surprsingly doesn't have too many oopsies. I promise not to wait so long until I post again. I'm actually hoping to start sewing 30 minutes to an hour (almost) every day in the mornings. That seems to be the best way to make consistent progress, especially when I'm in the middle of a project.

Do you sew? What are you currently working on?

WIP Progress Report

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- Title: Untitled
- Genre: Hockey Romance
- Word Count/Goal: 49,409/80,000
- Release Date: Spring 2018
- Series? Carolina Rebels 

It's been a LONG time since I posted my last WIP progress report, which was back in mid-June. I've been slacking, and I apologize.

There is a lot to catch up on, but I'll start with my current WIP. 

So, Scott & Sylvia's An Unexpected Life released last month. Brayden's book, Attached to You, releases next month. We've already met Rebels Noah, Marc, and Ian as well.

Up next and the Rebel starring in this WIP?

EJ!

His story has been flowing so smoothly! I can't wait to get this first draft done. I've had his story in my head for a very long time and it feels so good to finally write it. I can't wait to share it with you next year!

Now that you're all caught up on my current project, let me catch you up on my others.

Other Projects:
The first book in my New Adult Romance series, Hearts in Carolina, goes to edits and gets a cover soon! More details to come. (If you liked Logan from It's Our Time, then you'll be excited about this book!)

- As soon as my secret project (a newsletter exclusive) is ready, it'll be shared with my newsletter subscribers

- As I mentioned above, the next Carolina Rebels book, Attached to You, releases October 19, 2017.

WIP Progress Report

- Title: Untitled
- Genre: New Adult Romance
- Word Count/Goal: 33,410/80,000
- Release Date: Early 2018? Maybe.
- Series? Yes. Book 1 of new series. 

Yes, you read all of the above correctly.

No, I'm not working on a Carolina Rebels book. 

Yes, I'm going back to NA.

Yes, it's a new series.

What else can I tell you? Well, the female main character? Her name is Kayla. She's pretty awesome. The male? I can't tell you his name because you may have met him already in another book. I am telling my readers in Lindsay's League next week who he is, and they'll be the first to know. 

I can tell you that I'm having so much fun with these two. I'm so happy I decided to go on this new adventure with this new series. (And don't worry Carolina Rebels fans, I haven't abandoned that series at all!) 

The main point of this progress report is to let you know that I've started a new project/series. I don't want to say too much just yet since it is in the early stages, but I can say that I've worked it in such a way that there is loads of possibilities available. I don't know about you, but that makes me squeal with excitement! 

The future looks brighter than ever and I'm so excited for it! 

As y'all know, I'm always juggling multiple projects, so read on for more updates.

Other Projects:
- A Carolina Rebels WIP is with betas.

- One WIP (a secret project) is on hold because I keep getting caught up in the current WIP.

- The first secret project is with betas and eventually, I'll have my plan finalized for this.

Lindsay's (Mis)Adventures of Sewing & Quilting (#2)

First attempt at chain piecing

First attempt at chain piecing

Oh, boy, y'all. The things I have to tell you! My latest adventures? Well, they're a doozy. And not in a good way.

I thought things were going well. Of the past two times I've sat down to sew, I've only had to take apart my machine 3 times because of missing the thread coming out and it getting caught inside. I consider that a success.

My lines were getting better and straighter.

I tried chain piecing for about ten seconds.

But then, yesterday happened.

All lined up! EEK!

All lined up! EEK!

 I had to take apart three things because I accidentally did them backward (Mom actually took them apart while I kept sewing). 

One had to be taken apart because it wasn't quite straight, so the seam wouldn't be right.

I started sewing my little blocks together to create bigger blocks, getting all excited when things lined up, BUT...

It hit us that it was looking mighty small for a table runner. We began to investigate. 

And this is where things really start to suck.

Somehow, of all the fabric, it seems I didn't cut all of the fabric I needed for the patterned fabric. That's why it was so short. I only had half of it.

Mom started laughing, and I did, too, at first. Here we were, thinking we were halfway done, but looks like I made a HUGE oops.

We read the instructions (again) and I still can't understand how I didn't cut enough, because in one way, it makes complete sense that I should I have that fabric (and just don't), while in another way, it doesn't. But I also know that the day I was cutting the patterned fabric, a Penguins game was coming on, so I stopped once I thought I was done. It's totally possible I didn't pay enough attention to realize I only cut half and was more "done for the day" and not "done completely" because of that. That's what we're going with anyway. ;)

But we still had a problem. We thought we were going to have to UNDO all that hard work I just did. All of those accomplishments! So that when I cut up the rest of the fabric, it would make sense in how it looked.

After about fifteen minutes, we decided to keep what we had, though it wouldn't exactly match the eventual table runner, and use those for the placemats I'm supposed to do after this. 

Problem seemingly solved. We stopped for the night after that. I'm still a little irked at myself for somehow missing this, frustrated with the process, and yet, somehow I still want to keep on chugging. 

I'm starting to think I need to stick to my quilt boards because this is stressful work haha! But it takes practice and patience, right? That's that I keep telling myself anyway.

So, there you have it. There's my (mis)adventures. Maybe in the next post, I'll be able to pat myself on the back more than I've done with these first two posts. :) 

Thanks for reading and letting me share my experiences with you! 

Lindsay's (Mis)Adventures of Sewing & Quilting (#1)

My History & The Beginning of a New Hobby

So, y'all have heard me mention at some point in the past that I wanted to learn how to sew and quilt, whether it be on Facebook, in Lindsay's LeagueInstagram, or in my newsletter. Let me first announce that I am not crafty. I've known from the get-go this would be an uphill battle, as this is simply not an area I'm even remotely skilled in. There are no hidden sewing instincts within me.

For example, I think my sister would probably rock at this. She can decorate cakes, make a cute wreath for Christmas, re-cover a chair/upholstery, and she turned an old door into a headboard for her bed. She's one of those people; she has whatever magical instinct I feel like I should have to be able to do this. She could totally pick this up, I'd bet.

I can't do any of that stuff. My brain doesn't work in those areas. I'm pretty sure it doesn't work in this area either, but I want to learn so badly (even if I'm terrible and never improve), that I don't care. I'm prepared to be irritated all the time from my errors (there's already been many, you'll see), have hardly no patience sometimes, definitely have no clue what I'm doing, but most certainly persevere through it all. Because damn it, I'm doing this. (Not to mention, I'd like a hobby other than reading.)

Hence, my new series of erratic blog posts: Lindsay's (Mis)Adventures of Sewing and Quilting.

So, that's my history. Let's move on to how my new hobby is going so far. Because I LOVE doing this, I will start by saying my only "experience" and what I used to delay the start of my learning were no-sew quilt boards. Those things are awesome and fun.

Moving on because I know you're dying to see all my (mis)adventures. Feel free to giggle. I did. 

For the first project, I'm doing a table runner. I feel like I should've chosen something else at this point, just because, but I'm here and I'm committed, so...

I didn't have hardly any problems cutting the fabric. That part was easy, but what I didn't quite expect was that it was going to take half of my life to do it. There was cutting and the subcutting and the subcutting AGAIN. Like, OMG! I was cutting fabric for HOURS! Not even kidding. That's a day's work right there.

And then, my next step was to layer squares onto rectangles. Okay, that's easy. 

The next step was more daunting.

I had to sew. DIAGONALLY! 

Like, come on! Maybe I've been overthinking this, but that just seems ridiculous for little ol' newbie me. Not that my instructions knew that or cared.

But I'm brave and I'm doing this no matter what, so I got started.

Boy, oh boy. Diagonal lines were the LEAST of my worries. I did get ten of those squares and rectangles sewn together, but it was not an easy process. Just look at the photos if you need evidence.

There you have it! Those were my (mis)adventures.

Let's end on a positive.

What I Learned:

- How to REALLY use that seam ripper! 

- I really need to pay more attention to when that pesky thread comes out. (I feel like there is a lot to pay attention to when sewing.)

- I learned this before when cutting fabric, but it should be repeated. This is a time-consuming hobby. Those ten pieces took me an hour.

- I can efficiently take my machine apart. ;)

That's all I have! If you're still reading this, like wow. You're awesome. See ya next time!

Happy Release Day, Us at First!

Those are some delicious banana oatmeal chocolate chip cookies in the corner. :)

Those are some delicious banana oatmeal chocolate chip cookies in the corner. :)

I am SO EXCITED to share with y'all that Us at First has released! TODAY! I love Ian and Sydney. They hold a special little place in my heart, like all of my characters do, I guess, haha! But with them, things were a little different.

I've been trying to think of the last time I was so obsessed with a couple that I carried my laptop EVERYWHERE with me because I simply would NOT stop writing. I knew if I stopped, I would constantly think about it, so why stop writing? 

Anyway, that's how it was for the duration of writing both Us at First and It's Our Time. And now, *squee*, you get to read Us at First! I sure hope y'all like it. You can check out a handful of teasers on Pinterest if you missed them when I shared on social media.

Get it on Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo

Ian Rhett is seventeen when he meets Sydney. She's gorgeous, blushes easily, and has a southern accent. Ian can't help but talk to her and get to know her while she's in town.

When Sydney goes home, they keep in touch by texting and talking over of the phone, becoming closer and closer.

Sydney Jarvis can't believe a chance encounter at sixteen led her to a guy she talks to every single day. Ian's her best friend, who is somehow more than just a friend.

They're young, in love, and the one person they want most, they can't have. Not yet, at least.

Get it on Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo