Happy love month, everyone! Feb 14th is Valentine’s Day (in case you hadn’t heard.)

When I was in India about 10 years ago, they had just begun celebrating Valentine’s Day. There were a lot of contradictory feelings about it then, and the controversy is probably still going on.

In a land where arranged marriages were the norm and love was a crapshoot, traditionalists hated the idea. Young people were embracing it as a step toward someday choosing their own mates. Who won? Commerce! Naturally. Indian newspapers were filled with pretty red hearts and ads for cards, candy, flowers and all the items we westerners use to express our love.

Speaking of newspapers, I was interviewed by Meredith Goldstein a reporter from the Boston Globe! On Feb 10th, she’s outting herself as a huge romance fan and wanted to speak to someone whose romance novels are frequently set in Boston. She said she has a hard time finding the ‘escape’ she’s looking for when the book is set her her own city, and said she didn’t find Boston particularly romantic.

Hmmm… a city founded by Puritans and still known for intellectual snobbery, not romantic? Yeah, I guess I can see where she’s coming from. However, there are a lot of us romance novelists here! And guess what? We’re not all bored singles, eating bon-bons, and crying over our typewriters like Joan Wilder in Romancing the Stone. We’re married, single and ‘it’s complicated’. We’re lawyers, teachers, doctors, and a miriad of other professionals.

I was a psychiatric RN with a degree in Behavioral Sciences. All that time studying people gave me plenty of fodder for characterization. Like Meredith, I love the healthy escape of a good book, and an uplifting ending. (One can’t say ‘happy ending’ anymore, since it means something else entirely!) 

I do have some great news to share. I’m gearing up for the release of Book 1 in a whole new series! Hooked on a Phoenix comes out on March 6th. The new series is called the Phoenix Brothers. Some may think these books take place in the southwest, but no…they’re still in Boston. For now. Guess what folks? Phoenixes are real and working for the Boston Fire Department!  

Here’s a teaser…


“Gabe? When this is all over, can we go out for coffee or something? I don’t want you to just walk out of my life. I’m betting that as soon as your firefighter buddies show up, you’re going to drop me like a hot potato and saunter off with them.”

He tried to muffle his laugh in his sleeve. She didn’t know he was supposed to be keeping an eye on her, but even if he weren’t, he wouldn’t just walk off with his buddies and leave her there.

“Sure. Coffee sounds great.”

He opened his eyes briefly to check the progress of the hole in the ceiling. More light shone through now, and he could see they were working on two sections at the same time. More voices were rumbling. He wondered how many guys were up there. Probably a dozen or more. It wouldn’t be much longer.

Gabe suddenly became aware of the fact that he was stroking Misty’s arm from her elbow up to her shoulder and down. She sighed and sagged against him. The impulse to enclose her in his arms and hold her close was something he had been battling since this all started.
The dust was almost overwhelming. Misty’s voice was muffled when she asked, “Are you sure you’re  okay? You’re trying to breathe through a leather jacket. I have the only handkerchief. Maybe we could share it.”

He almost snorted. “Yeah, right.”

“Gabe!” She kicked him.

“Oww.”

“Am I that hideous that you don’t want to look at my face up close?”

“Of course not. It’s just that… Well, it’s the opposite.”

She seemed to take a deeper breath and relax into him a little more “Oh. Well then, here.” She slapped her hand behind his head and pulled him down to her face, then dragged the handkerchief over their eyes, noses, and mouths. They were not only sharing a cloth; their mouths were inches from each other. Not even inches.

He suddenly felt her lip touch his, and without even thinking, he leaned in and increased the pressure.

It started as a chaste kiss, but soon grew in intensity. She opened her mouth, and their tongues found each other. She cupped the nape of his neck. This girl could kiss! Before he realized it, his hands were pulling her closer and wandering over the dip in her lower back. Trying to stop at her hip was killing him. He wanted to squeeze her delectable buttocks.

He didn’t know how long they stood there kissing, because his brain had left the building. At one point, he realized what he was doing and knew he should pull away. But another big part of him—growing bigger by the second—thought,
that ship has sailed, and it won’t be turning around.
You can preorder it now! Here is a handy universal link to all online retailers. Or you can wait and buy it at your local Barnes and Noble, Walmart, or whatever brick and mortar store you like.