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Spring Fever? #MFRWAuthor #atozchallenge #KthruN

A2Z-BADGE-000 [2015] - Life is Good

Osiyo~

Well, it seems the universe, or powers that be, or something is trying to make me drop from the challenge again this year. I was struck with the flu about the time of my last post and have been laid up since. That’s not what I expected when my sister and I discussed Spring Fever. 😆 Today I recapture my freedom. LOL Hey! I refuse to be bullied, so off with you, flu! 😀

I am finally almost feeling human today. But despite all good intentions, I find myself four days (letters) behind again. Ugh. So, I’m going to cover K thru N here today. Hold on tight. 🙂

K15  is for~

  Kindness. I love when neighbors step up. When father in-law (fil) had to go to the hospital three weeks ago it was the kind, and new, neighbor next door who took Andee into her home and fed her pudding, with her own children, while waiting for the ambulance and Andee’s aunt to arrive and take her home for the night. It’s the little things that can make a bad or scary situation better, even if just a little. Pudding can ease many things. 🙂 Thanks Kimberly!

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L15is for~

Love. As I mentioned, I’ve been sick. Since taking in my father in-law and our oldest granddaughter, it’s a rare day when I get to just sleep in, sick or not. On the occasional Sunday when Mitch is home, or intermittently throughout the summer is about all I get. While my girls were growing up I don’t think I ever got a real ‘sick day’ because, well, moms and dad’s in a mom roll just don’t get that privilege. I get that and accepted that years ago.

Tuesday and Wednesday of this week were two of a handful of days I can count on one hand with two fingers missing. Monday I was up to take Andee to get her cast on. But the other two days Mitch left me sleeping while he got Andee up and off to school before he left for work. I was so unprepared for that chance to just be sick and just worry about getting better. It’s not, by any means, that he never cared before. But when our girls were growing up he was often at work long before daylight and it was my role to take care of the rest. Now, for the first time in a very long time, he’s in a more relaxed job and position and able to care for me if I need it. We’re both in a position that we can do things we weren’t able to in those earlier years. I’m taking this time to thank my husband and let him know how much I appreciate him. Thank you, Mitchell. I love you!

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M15  is for~

  Murky Words. I’ve been struggling all month. I have two WIPS I want, need, to complete and get to my editors soon. One is an absolute deadline of June 1. The other, well, let’s just say I’m running out of time and can’t get it back. So what’s the problem? I’m calling it murky words. That is those words you know what they need to be, you know where the story is supposed to go, the A+B=C formula is in place (that is not to say there IS a formula to writing, just that you know the beginning, middle and end of the story). But it’s the in-between that refuses to cooperate. See, I know where I want both stories to go and how to give these two couples their HEA. I just can’t get those murky words to clear and become what I envision. Good thing I’m not a quitter and am determined to see these couples see that happy ending one way or another. 🙂 Do you have those stories that just don’t seem to want to be written? How do you handle them (remember, deadlines on both, so I can’t set them aside any more than I already have)?

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N15is for~

Necklaces and other goodies. I’ve mentioned my artsy side, that I make jewelry, among other totem-like items. I’ve sold some necklaces inspired by the Highlander Beloved series by one of my all time favorite ladies and authors, Vonnie Davis, and some tiny bookshelves with miniature books for AJ Nuest’s Golden Key trilogies. Then there are key rings for Sarah Grimm’s Midnight series. I swoon for Dom! I’ve made a clock out of a CD, created a pretty Carmex lid (both as taught by polymer clay experts Lisa Pavelka and Katie Oskin) and Christmas ornaments for the grandgirls, and had a lot of fun with those. It took me almost a year to decide to start a website and blog for my creations. I should share the fun. So, a couple of months ago I did just that, then posted a couple of blogs to initiate the site. Then I sort of just forgot about it. Silly. Well, I thought I’d share that site here. My crafts are titled Fanciful Allure and I look forward to having you visit me at my other home in cyberland. I’m still getting it all prettied up, but there are a few creations around the site you might enjoy. If you see anything you might like for  yourself or to give as a gift, though it’s more a hobby right now, I might be able to make something for you. Just email me from there and we’ll talk. 🙂 Shares here and there would be so appreciated to help get the word out about my craft blog. Thank you for reading and, in advance, for visiting my ‘Lisa’ site!

Dodadagohvi~

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Calisa Rhose presents ~ UnCover Monday ~ March #MFRWauthor #CoverReveals

To satisfy your stare reflex urges–here’s a brilliant UnCover Monday post for St. Paddy’s Day! It’s like Christmas in March with some of these lovelies that were submitted in December. Unfortunately I couldn’t get all of the covers posted in December so, here they are. 🙂

Enjoy awesome cover art and the super authors, publishers and artists who made them possible for you to gaze upon this month and each month. It would be great if you leave a comment letting everyone know what you think about them and maybe even check out a few author links to meet those behind the books. Or just say hi. Don’t forget to tell your friends to stop by so they can appreciate some greatness too!

UnCover Mondays on The Ranch!!! This feature is only to highlight the authors and artists (though if you see one you want to buy I’m sure the authors won’t mind 😆 ). Enjoy this months’ covers to ogle and explore. If there is one provided, you can follow the artist links by clicking on the name, if there’s an artist link provided, to learn more about the amazing creators of these beautiful covers. If I have it, I link the cover to the artist, otherwise, it’s linked to the author. I think they deserve fair mention since they helped create the book! I wish everyone a fabulous new year in 2014!

I’ve added a heat level rating for covers, one through five scale, for your benefit. If there’s anything else you’d like to know about covers being revealed here, please don’t hesitate to let me know. You can leave it either in a comment or by my contact page https://calisarhose.com/say-hey/ with what you’d like to know. 🙂

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SlightlyNoble_LillyGayle02.02.15Title: Slightly Noble

Author: Lilly Gayle

Weblink: www.lillygayle.com

Genre: Historical romance

Heat Level: 4- hot

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Cover artist: Angela Anderson

Release date: February 2015

American privateer, Captain Jack isn’t really an American, but heir to a viscountcy. When his father dies, he leaves everything not entailed with the estate to his worthless cousin. Jack’s only hope of inheriting his mother’s ancestral home and honoring her dying wish is to marry and produce an heir before his thirty-fifth birthday—in five months. And he doesn’t have a single prospect.  

Pregnant and unwed, Abigale Halsey is sent by her father to an Anglican convent until he can find a family to adopt his grandchild or a husband for his daughter. Abby has other plans, but they go awry when she goes into labor early and her rescuer, a pirate captain turned lord, insists on marrying her.

Is Jack too much like his jealous, unforgiving father? Can Abby overcome her fear of men and have a real marriage? Or will she never be anything more than the unwanted wife of a Slightly Noble Viscount?

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CallDowntheMoon_Soulmateseries_MaryGillgannon03.02.15Title: Call Down the Moon, Soulmate series #1

Author: Mary Gillgannon

Weblink: www.marygillgannon.com

Genre: PNR/Time Travel Romance

Heat Level: 4- hot

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Cover artist: N/A

Release date: December 29, 2014

In the ninth-century, Irish warrior Connar fell hopelessly in love with Aisling, one of the Nine Sisters, a group of priestesses skilled in healing. When Aisling came to a tragic end, he used magic to travel to the future to reunite with her. But someone has followed Connar from the past, and they are determined to keep Allison and Connar apart. As Allison struggles with terrifying visions, she must learn to trust in a love that transcends even death.

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ChristmasCrush_MickieSherwood03.02.15Title: Christmas Crush

Author: Mickie Sherwood

Weblink: www.mickiesherwood.com/blog

Genre: Mainstream Romance

Heat Level: 1-  sweet

Publisher: Mickie Sherwood

Cover artist: Cheeky Covers

Release date: December 12, 2015

Although Ashley Wagner feels more like Scrooge than Santa, she keeps her promise and accompanies her sister back home for a Christmas wedding. Her three-day weekend is off to a rocky start, thanks to the unexpected run-in with her womanizing ex-husband, and his very pregnant new wife. She manages to get away with her dignity intact, but later, with old wounds ripped open, the professional crisis manager ends up in the middle of her own life-altering predicament.

Then, sports journalist Craig Johnston, wheels to her rescue.

Will Ashley spend Christmas brooding over bitter memories? Or will Craig, a dynamic paraplegic, present the deserving divorcée with a gift she can’t resist?

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ChristmasontheStrand_LorettaWheeler03.02.15Title: Christmas on the Strand

Novella preceding Southern Breezes series

Author: Loretta Wheeler

Weblink: www.LorettaWheeler.com

Genre: Romance

Heat Level: 1- sweet

Publisher: Digycat

Cover artist: John Wheeler

Release date: December 13, 2014

Winter on Galveston Island is a bevy of all types of weather. From gusty winds, Savanna Burke refers to as Male Gales, to a mixture of sleet, ice and once in a great while, snow. This winter, Savanna’s found the island winds are bringing change, for her and for Terence Whittaker, Galveston Island’s well-known clairvoyant.
Come visit Galveston Island with Savanna during Christmas and find the wonder of Christmas on the Strand.
Christmas on the Strand is the prequel to a series of cozy stories titled Southern Breezes. All the stories are set on Galveston Island, sharing the lives of a group of people who visited the island when they were young and have returned to claim it as their permanent home.

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girlboycover_152x228_finalTitle: Fate Accompli– Aegean Lovers #1

Author: MM Jaye

Weblink: www.mmjayewrites.com

Genre: Contemporary Romance.

Heat Level: 4- hot

Publisher: MM Jaye

Cover artist: George Saliaris

Release date: November 21, 2014

Monica Mitchell flies all the way from Boston to Athens, Greece, not to get a tan but a very specific job. Because besides an MBA, this twenty-four-year old has a mission: to prove to Alex Argiros, the gorgeous Greek magnate, that she has now grown out of the habit of flashing her underwear and looking like a zombie flick castoff … in the presence of hundreds.

The catch? She has to hide who she is. Thankfully, not having seen him since her early teens helps, and soon she gets all she wants and so much more. Not only does Alex not connect his highly qualified new assistant to the disaster magnate of his distant past, but apart from his admiration, he also offers her his heart.

Now, Monica has a new mission: to keep it forever. But first she has to come clean before he finds out her connection to the bane of his existence. Because if he does, he’ll rightfully assume she plays the part of the Trojan Horse, and then he’ll shed the sleek businessman exterior, letting his hot-blooded Greek nature take over.

She knows he could destroy her.

She knows, yet she needs just a little longer to savor his searing kisses…

[Note from CR- this book also has an inspirational version that will be featured in May]

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LastChance_ChancesTrilogy_MarthaO'Sullivan03.02.15Title: Last Chance, Chances trilogy #3

Author: Martha O’Sullivan

Weblink: www.marthaosullivan26.wix.com

Genre: Contemporary Romance, HEA ending

Heat Level: 5 flames

Publisher: Red Sage

Cover artist: Lacey Savage

Release date: November 2013

Moira Brody knows Paul Webster better than he knows himself. But neither one of them know that he as in love with her as she is with him. These lifelong friends will have to look at each other with fresh eyes and brave hearts. Moira will take an epic leap of faith and Paul will take the ultimate risk–again. They’ll come full-circle, but there will be plenty of collateral damage along the way. And even the single-digit temperatures and snowcapped peaks of the Lake Tahoe winter are no match for their long-bridled desire.

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LoveLattesandMutants_SandraCox02.18.15Title: Love, Lattes, and Mutants, Mutant Series Book 1

Author: Sandra Cox

Weblink: www.sandracox1.blogspot.com

Genre: YA Fantasy

Heat Level: Flame 1

Publisher: Lyrical/Kensington

Cover artist: N/A

Release date: February 23, 2014

Like most seventeen-year-olds, Piper Dunn wants to blend in with the crowd. Having a blowhole is a definite handicap. A product of a lab-engineered mother with dolphin DNA, Piper spends her school days hiding her brilliant ocean-colored eyes and sea siren voice behind baggy clothing and ugly glasses. When Tyler, the new boy in school, zeroes in on her, ignoring every other girl vying for his attention, no one, including Piper, understands why…

Then Piper is captured on one of her secret missions rescuing endangered sea creatures and ends up in the same test center where her mother was engineered. There she discovers she isn’t the only one of her kind. Joel is someone she doesn’t have to hide from, and she finds herself drawn to the dolph-boy who shares her secrets. Talking to him is almost as easy as escaping from the lab. Deciding which boy has captured her heart is another story…

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Love'sBattle_AngelaHayes03.02.15Title: Love’s Battle, True Blue Trilogy, Book One

Author: Angela Hayes

Weblink: www.authorangelahayes.blogspot.com

Genre: Fantasy Romance

Heat Level: 3- Steamy

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Cover artist: Tamra Westberry

Release date: July 23, 2014

If love isn’t worth fighting for, what is?

Love Howard has more than a knack for matchmaking. Born from a forbidden passion and a twelve-hundred-year-old promise, she and her sisters can literally see true love. And while Love has no problem bringing other couples together, her own romantic life could use a little help.

Danton DeAngelo has always been well grounded in reality. So it throws him for no small loop when the woman he’s fallen for believes that she’s been reincarnated eleven times and can actually see true love.

Now Danton is faced with the biggest decision of his life. Accept Love for who she really is, or walk away from her forever.

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RebornToBurn_AnnaDurand03.02.15Title: Reborn to Burn (Reborn, Book 2)

Author: Anna Durand

Weblink: www.annadurand.com

Genre: paranormal romance

Heat Level: 3 flames; steamy

Publisher: Jacobsville Books

Cover artist: Lisa A. Shiel

Release date: 12/09/2014

After three thousand years as a mummy, Dawn awakened to a dangerous new reality where science and the supernatural collide. Her only ally is Jake Maxwell, a mysterious grad student with an unusual talent for evading bad guys. Dawn’s resurrection spells trouble and power for the scientists responsible, and they have no intention of letting her go without a fight. But as she flees with Jake, a shocking revelation about her newfound life rocks them both. While their enemies close in, they discover a fiery passion—and a bond deeper and stronger than time itself. But can they outrun the past before their future is shattered?

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TheChristmasLights_RachaelKosinski03.02.15Title: The Christmas Lights

Author: Rachael Kosinski

Weblink: www.rachaelkosinski.weebly.com

Genre: historical romance

Heat Level: 1 flame or sweet.

Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing

Cover artist: Carolina Bensler

Release date: November 14, 2014

“Where do Christmas lights come from?”

Those tiny bulbs of color that burn on a Christmas tree,

Or outside a house to shine in the night.

Does anyone really know where they originate?

What if someone told you

They weren’t intended for Christmas at all,

But really for a miracle?

That they were for love, a desperate idea, to light a boy’s way home?

In that case, you must have some questions.

What boy? What love?

Have a seat. Allow me to tell you a story.

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I want to thank all the authors who submit and make this a special place to share their work!

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To see YOUR cover here visit my UnCover Monday page for detailed instructions.

Special Note: Some covers might suggest more heat than the actual content of that book. Please take note of the heat level rate on those.

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What IS love?

Osiyo~

Turner Falls-April 15, 2009 (youngest daughter, Stephanie’s, wedding day)

What IS love? Is it a look? A touch or a whispered word? A silent moment of oneness in a special place?

Maybe it’s a bouquet of roses with crystal earrings hidden inside. That’s what Mitch gave me for out first Anniversary. Maybe it’s a surprise night out or a new car with a giant red bow on top (this he did NOT give me 🙂 ). After all, isn’t bigger better? Or is it?

As a romance writer I know about flowery romance. I WRITE it. I spend time thinking up the most radical, to the most simple ways my characters can display their love to a reader. It might be a grand gesture of putting their faith in that one person they have taken a long journey in words with, or it might be something as simple and unassuming. The hero might offer his heroine one single flower with words of love that magically turn it into a full bouquet. But even then, as a writer, I’m driven to make him work for it. Because we all know—romance is NOT easy! 🙂

I can already hear the conversation in my head;

“I had you pegged for a hundred dollar bouquet with your history.” She eyed the solitary pink carnation suspiciously—she loved carnations but he couldn’t know that, had never paid that much attention to her likes and dislikes—as he twirled the stem carelessly between two fingers.

“You have me pegged right.”

As if to reinforce his words he gave the single flower a careless flip and caught it. A show off, he seemed to need attention to thrive. Well, she wasn’t giving it to him, wouldn’t feed that over-sized ego for one breath. Not again.

“You’re wasting your time. I’m not falling for your grandiose expressions of a fake love. I’ve done that and you let me fall flat on my ass three years ago when you left me standing at the alter with two hundred friends and family watching. I only fall once before I learn from mistakes.” Anna looked around them with a pointed stare, arms spread wide as she slowly spun around. She knew he had it all planned out. She’d been tipped off to his hidden plan to sweep her off her feet again. That’s how Ty rolled. Spring the big surprise on her so she’d be too overwhelmed to refuse until it was too late. Then he’d have the last laugh as he sprang into the mist and left her hanging. Not this time. “So, let’s get this over with. Where’s the bundle of impressive you have to woo me into false hope? Where are the roses and posies? Where are the people necessary to hold you up with adoration because you’re incapable of standing on your own in naked sincerity? Where’s the fancy church and all the schmooze and glitter Ty Baker relies on to survive?”

Sure she wanted to marry him, had since she was fifteen years old and over the moon in love with the destined movie star. Heck, even at sixteen he was a showboat actor. The difference between then and now was Anna. One of them had grown up in the last twelve years. She wouldn’t fall for his big ways anymore.

She expected his hung head and shy grin. He wouldn’t fool her this time because he was caught in the act. He knew it, too. The dark green tux that matched his eyes perfectly only reinforced what they both knew. Even when her fingers itched to run through his long California-blond hair, to scratch against the perpetual five o’clock shadow he sported these days, no matter how her lips ached to taste his once more—her heart broke with what could never be.

Then why was she standing in front of him in the ice green dress she’d found on her bed an hour ago? Why was her heart pounding just below where the fabric ended with a daring plunge? Obviously, Ty had picked the sexy dress. It wasn’t even white for God’s sake! That alone should tell her to run like hell to the nearest hills and hide. But some morbid curiosity for what pain he held in store trapped her there, doubting her own sanity. “So, where are they?”

“There isn’t any.”

The serious tone in his voice sent shivers of fear up and down her spine. He’d pulled out all the stops. Why did he so obviously despise her?

When Ty sank to one knee Anna choked on a snort of laughter. Okay, this was the Ty she remembered!

“I’m asking you for the last time, Anna Montgomery, to please marry me?”

“Why?” Not why was he asking her, but why he did this. What could she possibly have done to earn this from him?

“Because I love you. I don’t want to live without you. Your smile is the sun that rises on me, your tears the moon.”

Oh…boy.

He was good! She couldn’t respond. The moon was cresting in full bloom and she brushed the tears away angrily.

Ty rose and took her limp hand to lead her around the silent merry-go-round. Yes, only Ty would think to take her to the carnival where they had first met to propose. The comical situation staved off the tears. That and her anger at his unmitigated gall. How dare he tarnish those early buds of young love, her favorite memories of Ty Baker. But she wouldn’t fall for it this time.

Anna caught a glimpse of the two of them in a crazy mirror as they passed the dark fun house. They stood out, even in a wavy posture the mirror created they looked perfect together. Dark green against light, tall and broad beside small and trim. Perfect, but for the one altering effect. Their image was one dimensional. There didn’t seem to be any substance to the funky shapes they made. Like their relationship.

“Why did you come back, Ty? You can’t live here, can’t be restricted to a small town. It can’t feed that huge ego of yours because there’s not enough people in Noble, Oklahoma to create the amount of hot air needed to keep you blown up and full of it. So I want to know why you’re here?”

He stopped briefly and gazed at her and Anna could almost swear his eyes glimmered with moisture. Nah. Not Ty. He’s an actor, Anna. And didn’t all actors have built in water works ready to flow at their beck and call? When he began moving again without replying she thought she had her answer. He wasn’t back. This, whatever it was, was nothing more than a pitstop to somewhere better.

She held her breath as he broke the stem of the flower and tucked the head into her hair over her right ear. “I came for you.” He resumed the near silent walk and she allowed herself to be pulled along. Curiosity was not her friend.

Anna slowed and stopped as they rounded the Ferris wheel. Two strangers stood under a hot air balloon, one in the basket. “Oh, well now I see why there are no flowers or people.” How like him! “Of course, you have to make your grand entry. How lame of me to forget that detail.” She wanted to scream her frustration but instead found herself lifted and placed inside the big basket. Ty joined her, still without speaking, and nodded to the pilot after he climbed inside. She had to admit a hot air balloon ride was something she’d always wanted to do and felt the giddy excitement regardless of where it would end.

The balloon rose just above the treeline and power lines and rocked gently through the air. Anna braced her feet and held on to the rope as she looked down and around.

“It’s beautiful, isn’t it?”  Ty leaned beside her and smiled. “The first time I rode in one I knew I’d have to take you up, you’d love it.”

“Are we ready?”

Ty turned when one of the other men spoke and caught her hand to balance her. “Yes. We’re ready.”

“Ready for what?”

“Ty Baker, do you take this woman…”

~*~

Three in the morning and Anna stared at the diamond and emerald ring on her left hand. He’d done it. Ty had married her. Even more stunning, shocking, was that there hadn’t been any people, flowers or anything grand about it. That balloon pilot was the only witness and he set them down at the airport where her bags had been delivered by her sister—whom she’d strangle later—and Ty whisked her off to Jamaica. Well, that was pretty grand, but not at all showboat-like. Anna couldn’t help wondering when it would fall apart.

“Quit worrying, baby. It’s just the two of us. Me. You. It’s not a joke and I’m not going to disappear when you blink, so can we go to sleep and begin our honeymoon in the morning?” Ty whispered beside her and dragged her into his arms to kiss her neck in the tropical breeze, under a blanket of stars.

“If this is real…why don’t you want to begin the honeymoon tonight? Right now?” She suspected he didn’t because it would all end when the sun came up, but irrationally felt the need to challenge him to the edge of her own sanity.

“I thought you’d want to rest first.”

“I’m sure you did.”

“If a honeymoon is what you want, Mrs. Baker, that’s what I’ll produce.”

Ty lifted her into his strong arms and Anna fell speechless when he carried her to the huge bed and removed the limp pink carnation from her hair. The salty sea breeze floated through the gauzy curtains as her husband stretched out next to her and turned off the lamp…

Ah- love.

For me it’s not about big gestures. It’s about what’s inside. My darling hubby bought me an early Valentine’s gift last week. I am sporting the cutest new work outfit. For the writers out there, you already know I’m talking about PJs. Is there anything more romantic? For the readers out there, writers often ‘work’ in PJs so you can appreciate how sweet his gift is. They’re Minnie Mouse!

What about you? Do you go for the amazing, grand gestures or is sweet and simple more your style when it comes to Valentine’s Day and your personal hero? Let’s dish! What did you get, or do you hope to get today?

Dodadagohvi~