Thursday, December 29, 2011

WoMen's Literary Cafe~UNITING A LITERARY COMMUNITY


Starting next week, I'm going to become a part of The WoMen's Literary Cafe (WLC) elite blog team!
This isn't the same old blog or even just a writer's blog, like my grog I co-founded The Writer's Guide To EPublishing.
This is a different blog, in fact it's a website. There is NOTHING like it out there. It's a website to UNITED THE LITERARY COMMUNITY!!
What do I mean by that?
As you know, I'm published with a small publisher and self published. I love to pay it forward and help any author no matter what publication journey they are on. I'm a true believer in doing it all. That includes being a part of a community of authors, writers, bloggers, editors, agents, publication companies, format professionals, cover designers, and more!
The more the merrier in my book.

WLC is a site where author will learn to cross promote with other authors, like the PR Buddy system I've talked about at WG2E and in my co-authored promotional and marketing book with Misa Ramirez, THE TRICKED OUT TOOLBOX~PROMOTIONAL AND MARKETING TOOLS EVERY WRITER NEEDS.

We are not only promoting authors, we are promoting bloggers, readers, and more. WLC is going to focus on blog tours, author spot lights, ongoing promotions, and how to live in this ever changing publishing industry.
Our author forums provide an opportunity for authors to hang out and share tips/tricks, and an opportunity to connect with readers.

For authors, there is free promotion that includes facebooking, tweeting, and blogging. It costs nothing! You just have to visit and fill the form out.
If you review books, we want to send you some!
Be sure to stop by and check out the site!!

If you want to check out the elite blog team, you have to click the blog tab! The blog is not the focus of the site, it's only there to pay it forward and help you!
Here is the blog schedule:

Monday - Maureen will be doing interviews w/WLC authors and Desiree is our resident Book Club Specialist
Tuesday - Carrie will be focusing on PR while Tonya will touch on  publishing and writing, 
Wed - Beth is talking about marketing and publishing, Johanna is hosting fun stuff for readers
Thurs - Stacy is going to tackle POV interviews w/WLC authors, Sirra  is talking editing
Fri - Eliz Cassidy, Humor as it pertains to life along with Maureen who has more interviews w/WLC authors
Sat - Dominique continues our week on editing, 
Sun -  Chris Morgan discusses the techy stuff that we really do need to figure out! Stacy will be back with more on  POV.
This is an amazing line-up! I hope you join us!

"Writing is not a competitive sport, neither is blogging or reviewing. There is room for everyone to succeed and now there is a venue to bring us all together." ~WLC founder, Melissa Foster



To learn more about WoMen’s Literary CafĂ© (hosting both men and women), please visit:
AUTHOR Promotions: http://womensliterarycafe.com/content/winter-events-authors
READER Events: http://womensliterarycafe.com/content/winter-events-readers

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas A Superstitious Christmas IS FREE FOR TWO MORE DAYS!




MERRY CHRISTMAS!!


Come back to Grandberry Falls in this novella and spend a little time getting to know Hazel Greenlee and her bunch!

Maggie Greenlee can’t wait for the Greenlee traditions to start, especially the annual ornament exchange.
Only things don’t go as planned once Maggie announces to the Greenlee clan that she’s engaged to Grady Cohen, one of the wealthiest bachelors in New York City.
There are two problems. One, Hazel Greenlee, Maggie’s granny and Grandberry Falls’ local matchmaker, has already determined that Maggie is going to marry Mayor Mitch Dozier. And two, Grady thinks the superstitious beliefs that have ruled Maggie’s life, are child like.
With Grady deliberately breaking every superstitious tradition, and Granny Hazel pushing Maggie in the arms of Mitch Dozier, Maggie isn’t sure she’s going to survive Christmas in Grandberry Falls.




I'm giving it to you for FREE!! Only for five days. If you don't have an ereader~no big deal!! You can download Kindle for free for your PC!! 


Merry Christmas to you and your family!!


GET YOUR COPY HERE!
xoxo
Tonya

Monday, December 19, 2011

Talli Roland's Inspiration

The Inspiration of Museums

It was a stuffy day in central London, and I was flipping through the paper with abandon (okay, so I was clicking the online newspaper links with abandon, but that doesn’t sound as good). All of a sudden, a headline rushed out at me: Museum of Broken Relationships Comes to London. A Museum of Broken Relationships, I thought? What an interesting concept.

As I navigated through the pictures – from a garden gnome to a garish pair of Y-fronts – I couldn’t help constructing stories in my head. Where had those undies come from? What was the significance of the figurine? The more photos I saw, the more my brain raced . . . until I just had to write about it. And being the evil creator that I am, I thought up a situation to ensure maximum conflict: what if I placed a poster child for happy endings in a position of responsibility in such a museum? What would happen? Would she implode, or would she gradually become pessimistic? My main character of Rose was born.

When it came time for Rose to think about the logistics of setting up the museum, I called upon my experience at London’s Dennis Severs’ House, where there are ten rooms set to create ‘moods’ from between 1724 and 1914. As you weave your way through the silent house by candlelight, you feel like you’re interrupting the invisible occupants, an eighteenth-century French Huguenot family of silkweavers, in their dinner. Their presence eerily lingers through the smell of food and various objects strewn carelessly about. With every room, you feel as if you’ve stepped into a painting about to come to life. This is exactly what I wanted the Museum of Broken Hearts in my novel to feel like, so I had Rose create real-life spaces in which to place the objects.

Who says museum are boring? For me, they’re simply a starting point to tell another story.


Talli Roland has three loves in her life: chick lit, coffee and wine. Born and raised in Canada, Talli now
 lives in London, where she savours the great cultural life (coffee and wine). Despite training as a journalist, Talli soon found she preferred making up her own stories – complete with happy endings. Her debut novel, The Hating Game, was an Amazon Top 100 bestseller and shortlisted for Best Romantic Read at the UK’s Festival of Romance, and her second, Watching Willow Watts, was selected as a 2011 Amazon Customer Favourite. Build A Man is her latest release. Talli blogs here and can be found on Twitter here.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

FREE! Bead of Doubt


Merry Christmas!!


I'm offering my Divorced Diva Mini-Mystery for free to you! Instead of gifting free copies to all my favorite peeps (you), I've decided to make BEAD OF DOUBT free for the holiday season only!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays...You mean the world to me!!

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/115309

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Let Me Introduce You. . . .




Holly Harper, a divorced diva, is the owner of The Beaded Dragonfly bead shop.

Willow Harper is Holly's pet pot-bellied pig that keeps Holly company since her divorce from "what's his name."

Sean Harper is Holly's "what's his name." He own Sean's Little Shack handy-man service that cleans up a lot of Doug Sloan's shoddy work.

Ginger Sloan Rush, an honorary divorced diva, is Holly's best friend and member of the wealthiest family in Swanee.

Jim Rush is Ginger's husband and manager of the local hardware store. He is busy trying to start a security camera business.

Doug Sloan is Ginger's brother. He is a local handy-man that breaks hearts more than fixes them.

Flora White, a divorced diva, is never without her cell phone. If you didn't know you, you'd think it was attached to her body.

Bernadine Frisk, a divorced diva, lives across the the lake from Holly. She is divorced from a cut-throat lawyer and will do anything to get back at him. . .without him knowing it's her. Bernadine knows everything about everyone.

Cheri, an honorary diva, is a local college student that lives in the apartment above the bead shop. She's not only an honorary Diva, she's an expert in karate.

Agnes Pearl, a divorce diva, is the local nosy widow. She's a tell it like she sees it, only she's half blind.

Marlene, a divorce diva, is the newest citizen in Swanee. She lives with Agnes Pearl and takes care of what ever Agnes needs. Marlene also works at The Beaded Dragonfly on a part-time basis.

Noah Druck is the local police officer. He knows everyone and everyone can hear him coming because he loves to whistle Swanee River non-stop.

Bear MaGee is the local lawyer for the Sloan family. No one cross Bear!

Holly Harper's life is finally getting back on the right track after her divorce from "what's his name." She and a group of divorcees have formed a strong bond plotting creative ways to get back at their exes by creating a self-help group known as The Divorced Divas where the meeting are held in Holly's bead store, The Beaded Dragonfly.

There's more than just beading going on when Diva Marlene's rare Spinet Yellow Diamond goes missing and Holly was the last one to see it, or so they thought.

Get to know and fall in love with each one of the Divas starting with Bead Of Doubt, A Divorced Diva Mini-Mystery, the prequel to Strung Out To Die, A Divorced Diva Mystery Novel.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A SUPERSTITIOUS CHRISTMAS

A Superstitious Christmas
I'm excited to have the cover and buy link for A Superstitious Christmas!!

Come back to Grandberry Falls in this novella and spend a little time getting to know Hazel Greenlee and her bunch!

Maggie Greenlee can’t wait for the Greenlee traditions to start, especially the annual ornament exchange.
Only things don’t go as planned once Maggie announces to the Greenlee clan that she’s engaged to Grady Cohen, one of the wealthiest bachelors in New York City.
There are two problems. One, Hazel Greenlee, Maggie’s granny and Grandberry Falls’ local matchmaker, has already determined that Maggie is going to marry Mayor Mitch Dozier. And two, Grady thinks the superstitious beliefs that have ruled Maggie’s life, are child like.
With Grady deliberately breaking every superstitious tradition, and Granny Hazel pushing Maggie in the arms of Mitch Dozier, Maggie isn’t sure she’s going to survive Christmas in Grandberry Falls.




Why is this so special to me?
We have talked about superstition here before, click here, and it was so much fun that I even put a tab at the top of my blog page to list all the fun superstitions!
But this book is more than that to me, it's about family and how different everyone in families are.
I grew up in a superstitious home, and no matter how different my family is, we still have that one bond between us.
One minute we could be fighting in the car and for a brief moment it would stop, only because drove over a railroad track and threw our feet up at the same time.
Family tradition is also a big element in A SUPERSTITIOUS CHRISTMAS. I hold tradition dear in my heart. Every year I put my mother's Christmas tree up the Sunday after Thanksgiving because we've always done this. I take my mother to see a play or musical around Christmas because it's tradition. There is just something about tradition that makes things cozy.
Plus A SUPERSTITIOUS CHRISTMAS, takes place during the holidays which always has your emotions on high alert.
This novella is packed with humor, dysfunction, romance, family tradition and SUPERSTITION!!

What about you? What is some of your family traditions?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Cross Genres. . .Do You Read Them?

No, I don’t mean hybrid cars or hybrid animals like Dolly the sheep~even though Dolly is cute.


I’m talking about crossing dressing for publication. YES~cross-dressing or some like to call it cross pollination or crossing genres. Since most fiction falls in a certain genre, such as; romance, mystery, erotica, inspirational (okay…maybe I shouldn’t put erotica and inspirational next to each other~teehee!). Anyways, each genre has there own followers so when an author decides to cross pollinate, they better do it right.


As a writer, you really have to be up for the challenge. You have to give the best of both genres because that is what you are promising as a writer to deliver. Romance+Suspense=Romantic Suspense. If you bought this book, you would be sorely disappointed if you found it to be a

Romance+Comedy=Romatic Comedy and no suspense was even involved. The most popular cross genres currently are PARANORMAL ROMANCE, ROMANTIC SUSPENSE, SCIENCE FICTION FANTASY.

We also have to consider how to market it. If you write cozy mystery with paranormal elements, like my very own Splitsville.com, do I market to the paranormal readers or the mystery readers?


What do you think? Would you follow your favorite author if he/she wrote a cross genre novel? If you’re an author, have you considered cross genre writing?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Preparation H And The Tired Writer




Writer’s eye syndrome is what I’ve got.




For the past week I’ve been spending a lot of time editing two upcoming releases. The Tricked Out Toolbox~Marketing and Promotional Tools Every Writer Needs, my non-fiction craft book coming out in early spring 2012, and Color Me Love, an Olivia Davis Mini-Mystery, coming out in February 2012.

Here I am at my son's basketball game reading a sample of my novel on my Kindle. (YES! You can send your book to your ereader device before you publish it so you can see how it looks.)
I'm just exhausted.


When I looked in the mirror, I had to do a double take! I couldn’t believe my eyes. They were dark, puffy, red, full of stress and worry. Now I’m not big on make up. I’ve never worn a lot of it and I’ve never learned how to apply it, so now I’m thinking these eyes that have found a home on my face will never go away.


Lately I've been getting a lot of "you okay?" from neighbors, friends, and family. Personally

I think they are thinking, “Gosh, writing is killing her. Maybe she should stop and get some sleep.”

So….I’ve been on the hunt for something that will help my eyes, short of surgery.


Who did I go to? My trusty old friend Google. There are a million ideas out there.


O course I found the old tried and true tea bags and cucumbers, but it did nothing for me. I’m desperate! I’d do almost anything to make my tired eyes feel better. And then a light came shining down and I couldn’t believe what I was reading.


YES! Preparation H? Do you think I went and bought a tube and dab some on my puffy, red, sad eyes?


YES I DID! Only I didn't dab, I rubbed!


Did it work?


Let’s just say I’m giving it a few days and a lot of dabs.

If it doesn’t work or get somewhat better I do have another secret….


Milk Soother

Cold milk tastes great with a big slice of rich chocolate cake, but cold milk is also great for tired, puffy eyes. If you’re looking exceptionally tired these days, try a milk treatment that will soothe and relax your eyes.

Pour ice cold milk into a shallow bowl, and toss in a couple of large cotton balls. Find a place to lie down, place a towel beneath your head, and with eyes tightly closed, place milk-soaked cotton balls over your eyes. After ten or fifteen minutes, wash, dry, and moisturize your face as usual. (http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/44611/home_remedies_to_soothe_puffy_tired_pg2.html?cat=69)


Do you have any home remedies for tired bones, eyes or anything else to help this ailing writer?


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Laugh Away Holiday Stress




I usually don’t open those emails where you have to reply to 10 friends or take polls, but I did find this funny when a good friend of mine sent it! Hope you enjoy this and melt away any holiday stress you might be feeling.


Random Thoughts for the Day:

1. I think part of a best friend’s job should be to immediately clear your computer’s history if you die.

2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you’re wrong.

3. I totally take back all those times I didn’t want to nap when I was younger.

4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.

5. How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

6. Was learning cursive really necessary?

7. Map Quest needs to start their directions on #5. I’m pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

8. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

9. I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t at least kind of tired.

10. Bad decisions make good stories.

11. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren’t going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.

12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray? I don’t want to have to restart my collection…again.

13. I’m always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to the ten-page paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.

14. “Do not machine wash or tumble dry” means I will never wash this — ever.

15. I hate it when I miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello?)but when I immediately call back it rings nine times and goes to voicemail. What’d you do after I didn’t answer? Drop the phone and run away?

16. I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.

17. I keep some people’s phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

18. My 10 year old daughter asked me in the car the other day “Dad, what would happen if you ran over a ninja?” How do I respond to that?

19. I think the freezer deserves a light as well..

20. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Bud Lights than Kay


Do you have any random thoughts to add??

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A THANKFUL YEAR~



This image is so powerful and is exactly what I wanted to say to my fellow writers and readers. I try to be very aware of all of you on my daily journey into publication and beyond. Every day when I sit down to write or edit one of my upcoming novels, I keep each and everyone of you in mind. I ask myself questions, "will my reader like this?" "Am I meeting my best potential as a writer?"
Everyday I make sure that I tweet or facebook how thankful I am for each and everyone of you. Because Thanksgiving isn't the only time of year that we should do this, but it is the time of year that we actually stop and listen with our heart, our souls, and celebrate with friends and family.
So, from the bottom of my heart I want to thank you for helping make my dreams come true.




Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Gratitude goes a long way!!





Today I want to thank you, my readers!! I'm participating in the GRATITUDE BLOG HOP!!
You don't want to miss it! There are several participating authors who want to thank you too.

I'm blogging at The New Cinders about why I owe you, the reader, a big ole bunch of GRATITUDE!!!
From there, you can blog hop all over the world and get free books! I'm giving away three copies of Splitsville.com!!

Please stop by!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What do you do under the mistletoe??

What do you do under a misteltoe?
- contributed by Tonya Kappes
a: Pick your nose
b: Scratch your armpits
c: Kiss someone
d: Smell someone

Hint: PUCKER UP!!

Leave your answer in the comment section for a GREAT prize!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Give away and a little Gratitude!


Wednesday I'm over at The New Cinders, a blog in the United Kindgom, talking about gratitude and giving away three copies of SPLITSVILLE.COM.
I'd love to see all my friends and readers over there!!

It's part of the Gratitude Blog Hop that I'm taking part in for WoMen's Literary Cafe!

"On November 16, 2011, twenty very special bloggers will host twenty very special authors, all giving out free ebooks to very special readers. You don't want to miss this give-back event! Show some love for our bloggers, stop by and check out their blogs!

Stay tuned and tell all of your friends! It's time for a littleGRATITUDE, and the WLC Authors have oodles of it to give out!"

Don't miss the book give-aways from all different genres, and all different authors!

The blog hop starts at the WoMen's Literary Cafe!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Secrets to Successful Social Networking


Fantasy author Ty Johnston’s blog tour 2011 is running from November 1 through November 30. His novels include City ofRogues, Bayne’s Climb and More Than Kin, all of which are available for theKindle (http://www.amazon.com/Ty-Johnston/e/B002MCBQRU/ ), the Nook(http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/ty-johnston ) and online atSmashwords(http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/darkbow ). His latest novel, Ghosts of the Asylum, will be available for e-books on November 21. To find out more, follow him at his blog tyjohnston.blogspot.com.


The secret to successful social networking


More and more writers today are finding social networking important for building an audience. Whether it’s authors touting their latest book, bloggers promoting their site, or other writers, reaching out to an online audience is one of the strongest, and easiest, promotional tools a writer can have.


Unfortunately, some writers hate it, and others just can’t seem to figure out what to do.


The basics are quite simple. You sign up for such sites as Twitter and Facebook, you start making “friends” on those sites, then you start letting your “friends” know about your book, blog, whatever.


However, that easy step opens up three potential problems for the promoting writer.


First, pushing one’s writing on the unsuspecting or the unwilling is often called spam, and others online won’t hesitate to call you out on it. Yes, you are joining such sites to promote your work, but to do so constantly only makes you annoying to others. There’s nothing wrong with mentioning your new blog post or new article from time to time, but making a nuisance out of yourself does a writer no good. How to judge if you’re spamming? Ask yourself how you feel when others are pushing their products on you.


The second possible problem with the basics of social networking is a lack of diversification in the sites. Yes, everyone knows Twitter and Facebook, but are you familiar with StumbleUpon, Digg, Reddit and a thousand other sites. Do you know about tumblr? What about more writing-centric sites such as GoodReads or LibraryThing or Kindleboards? Obviously it is far too time consuming to be on all sites all the time, but it would not hurt to pick a few as favorites and to have at least some presence on the others. The popularity of networking sites can wax and wane, so if you already have an account on one, it will be much easier to start taking part in the online community there.


A third potential problem for writers and social networking is that often it can seem no matter how much work you put into it, social networking never seems to pay off. You keep trying and trying, but your book sales aren’t going up, or your blog views are staying flat.


All too often I see writers who have 20,000 Followers on Twitter, but it does them little good. Or there are those who have thousands of Facebook friends, but without it helping their writing career.


How can this be? You’ve put all this time and effort into clicking your way to connecting with people, but none of them seem interested in your writing.


Too often, writers will become frustrated, throw up their hands and give up on social networking. They figure there must be some secret they don’t understand, or they believe they aren’t “cool” enough for others to latch onto.


The truth is, such writers are missing the trees for the forest. Yes, you read that correctly.


Signing up with a networking site and gathering thousands upon thousands of followers is only the beginning, a mere step in the right direction. It takes more effort than that, and more time.


There is one simple trick to successful social networking, and it’s not really a trick. What is it? You have to keep in mind the “social” aspect of social networking.


You have to chat with others. You have to talk online with them as if they really are friends. And you have to do so without constantly bombarding them with pressure to read your latest post or book or what-have-you.


The age of the hard-sell has passed us by. Today’s consumers are savvy enough to know when they’re being sold something, when an advertisement is slapping them in the face. Most of today’s consumers and readers don’t like that. To them, it feels as if they are being forced into something, and no one enjoys that feeling.


If a writer wants to successfully utilize social networking, the writer has to take the time to make real friends online. It’s not easy. You build relationships one at a time, but it needs to be done. Join in those twitter hashtag conversations. Let others know you appreciate their stumbles on StumbleUpon. Take part in the jokes on Facebook.


You never know? You might just start selling a few more books or drawing more people to your site. And better yet, you might actually have some fun and make a whole bunch of new friends.



Saturday, November 12, 2011

Sample Sunday MADNESS UNDER THE MISTLETOE

A SUPERSTITIOUS CHRISTMAS
featured in the Madness Under The Mistletoe Anthology

Chapter One



Maggie had to pick out the perfect ornament for Granny.

Her future depended on it. That is, if Grady Cohen was going to be in her future and the five carat sparkler on her ring finger was screaming that he was.

She had no clue how she was going to top last year’s grape and apple ornament. Although it had been ugly, it did stand for happiness and love. After all, the message of the ornament was all that mattered in the annual Greenlee family ornament exchange.

It has to be here somewhere,” she said, thumbing through all the dangling gems, being careful not to damage any of them.

If you would just tell me what you’re looking for, I might be able to help you find one.” Grady said.

She had to wonder if he meant it. His thumb was busy rolling the ball on his Blackberry, not thumbing through the aisles and aisles of ornaments at The Gingerbread House Shop, just north of downtown Manhattan on Christopher Street.

I don’t know what I’m looking for.” There was despair in her voice. “I’ll know it when I see it.”

Just like last year, she walked into The Gingerbread House the day she was leaving for Grandberry Falls.

Why does your family do this?” Grady sighed and continued to click around on his phone.

She wasn’t sure how to answer him.

She couldn’t remember how she, Belle, and Granny Hazel started the annual ornament exchange, but she could remember that there was one rule and one rule only. The ornament had to have a significant meaning behind it. That way they had to search for the perfect gift months, not hours, before Christmas.

Maggie smiled.

Even though it was a pain in the neck at that moment, she did love the exchange and she looked forward to it every year.

It has to be perfect, she thought, looking back at Grady.

Maggie was already nervous about bringing him home to Grandberry Falls to meet her family and the rest of the town. Yes, the town.

Everyone in Grandberry Falls knew everyone’s business, and just because she left when she graduated from high school didn’t make her exempt from the gossip of the small community. Plus Grady didn’t embrace the Greenlees’ superstitious ways, which made Maggie anxious about bringing him home.

Especially this time of the year, when Hazel Greenlee was known to use everything in her bag of granny tricks.

It has to be perfect.” She held a star ornament up to the light before putting it back. “I shouldn’t have waited until the last minute.”

She was surprised that there were so many ornaments left with just a couple days until Christmas.

All the glitter, glass and gold was beginning to blur together.

Found it!” Grady held up a red pitch fork that you’d expect to see a devil holding.

Maggie rolled her eyes.

What?” Grady laughed. She was well aware of his opinion on her family’s superstitious natures. “Isn’t it strange your family celebrates Christmas, yet you live your lives based around superstition?”

Maggie ignored him as usual. He might be right, but Granny had taught her all about karma and being a little superstitious in order to ward off the bad karma couldn’t hurt. If visiting the family with Grady meant he had to pretend to understand for a weekend, he should be willing to do that for her.

Can’t you just humor my family for a few nights?” She momentarily panicked as her mind raced through everything that could go wrong.

If Grady didn’t go along with the superstition or keep his mouth shut, Granny definitely wouldn’t welcome him into the family.

Besides, Maggie was well aware that Granny Hazel already had her married off to Mitch Dozier.

The problem with that was, Maggie thought of Mitch as a brother.

That was one thing you said you found endearing about me when we met.”She reminded him about the time she hitched a ride with him back to the city from the Hamptons.

She didn’t know he was one of the Cohen’s of the New York City Cohen’s.

It was only after she took the prestigious lawyer position that she was successfully using to work toward making partner status at VanMeter and Associates that she found out who her new friend was. She’d seen him around at a few parties in college, but they rarely ran in the same circles.

After all, she was a country girl, not a big city girl. And any social climbing she did was all on her own, or with some help from her best friend and former college roommate Lillian Alexander.

Lillian was one of the socialites of the city. She grew up with the luxury products of Louis Vouitan, Prada, and Gucci at her beck and call. Normally Maggie wasn’t drawn to people like Lillian, but Lillian was different.

She didn’t act any different than Maggie. As a matter of fact, Maggie sometimes found herself wishing she could be as good-hearted as Lillian.

Lillian had chosen to use her hard-earned NYU law degree to be a Goodwill Ambassador overseas, and was going to be spending the next year in a developing country. And Maggie had no idea how she was going to live without Lillian talking her off the OCD wagon.

Well, I didn’t know what you were doing throwing your legs up in the air every time we went over railroad tracks.” He retorted in cold sarcasm, bringing her back to how they met. “I thought you were some hill-jack from the back woods.”

Maggie stood with her hands on her hips. The diamond sparkler shone for the entire world to see.

You love my accent and you know it.” She shook her finger at him. “And you laughed when I told you that you have to hold your feet up and make a wish when you go over train tracks.”

She could still see the surprised look on his face, six months ago when she whipped her feet into the air, her shoes flying up and out of the convertible. It took them two hours on the dark, unlighted road to find her knock off Christian Louboutins.

The next day at work, a real pair of Louboutins showed up on her desk with an invitation to dinner from Grady. They been together ever since

Fine.” He backed off, letting her look through the rest of the ornaments.

All her dreams were coming true. She left Grandberry Falls to go to college in New York. She never fancied herself a big city gal, but loved it right away. By a stroke of luck, she got her dream job at VanMeters and never looked back.

She was on target to make partner within a year, and nothing was going to stop her now. Especially since she was soon going to be a Cohen from New York, New York instead of a Greenlee from Grandberry Falls, Kentucky.

Grady!” Maggie’s eyes lit up with excitement.

She cradled a shiny sterling silver bow in her hands.

This is the one.” A cry of relief passed from her lips.

And why is that little silver bow the one?” Grady plucked it out of her hand and raised an eyebrow. “We could’ve gotten this at a dollar store.”

She saw his jaw tighten when he looked at the fifty-dollar price tag.

I don’t care how much it costs.” She took it back. “A bow is a metaphor for a strong bond. And now, more than ever, granny needs to know that even though I’m getting married, we will always be close.”

Maggie tried to calm the feeling of uneasiness erupting inside her, but couldn’t. There was nothing she wanted more than for Grady to fit in like he did in New York, but Grandberry Falls was a far cry from the big city.

Maggie was able to reinvent herself when she left. In New York, she was seen as strong, independent, and successful. In Grandberry Falls, she was known as poor Maggie Greenlee whose parents were killed in car accident, leaving her and her sister Belle orphans for their granny, Hazel Greenlee, to care for.

Without hesitation, Maggie took the ornament up front and paid the clerk. She handed Grady the keys to his convertible and shooed him out before he could protest.

She was slightly irritated that he had questioned the price of the ornament. He purchased many senseless items that were much more expensive, and she had never questioned him.

The clerk handed the ornament back to Maggie, now in a beautifully wrapped package.

Granny is going to love this, Maggie thought, taking the gift. She glanced at the five carat stunner on her left finger.

For a moment, her heart ached for the antique diamond she saw at the jeweler instead of the Cohen heirloom. Although beautiful, it really didn’t fit her personality.

Quickly, she brushed the thought out of her mind and hopped in the car for the all day ride to Grandberry Falls.


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