Authors/Writers, giveaway

Spring for Love Blog Hop and Giveaway!

darcy flynn, joy dent, cynthia gail

Welcome to Day 2 of Spring for Love Blog Hop & Giveaway!

With a Rafflecopter giveaway and twenty-six participating authors!

I have another wonderful Soul Mate Author to introduce you to, but first I’d like to share another memory from my days growing up in New Orleans, where the springs were long and the summers were hot!

As a child, I remember my mother picking an azalea flower and teaching me to sip the enddarcy flynn, joy dent of it for the sweet nectar coveted by the bees and butterflies. I can still remember that moment, standing in the front yard of our little “postage stamp sized lot” in New Orleans.  For the rest of my childhood ’til this day, I pick the first, full azalea bloom to sample its sweetness. The gorgeous azaleas to the right are on my Tennessee Farm!

 

Now, please welcome my friend and Soul Mate Sister, Sarah Hoss!

Sarah grew up believing she could try anything and if she set her mind to it, she would succeed. Sixteen years of dance lessons, Cheerleading, and school plays proved to her that her parent’s words rang true. Writing was no exception. Reading the Outlander series made her fall in love with time travels and the historical places books could take her. Always a child with a vivid imagination, she realized as an adult, she could put her imagination to good use and began writing. Marrying her very own hero, they live in Indiana in the town where she grew up. They have three beautiful children and one hyper dog. When Sarah isn’t writing, she enjoys gardening, camping, and watching her kids’ play sports.

 Here’s what Sarah loves about Spring!

“I love to watch Spring come about with the flowers and trees blooming, the birds singing. Nature is reborn and it’s a beautiful thing to watch.”

                                                                  Sins of the Heart! 

Sarah Hoss - Sins of the Heart

 

Abigail Crenshaw is an antiques dealer searching for the perfect item. When she stumbles across a warriors shield at a flea market, she knows she can’t leave without it.

Grant MacFie is the Scottish Laird of Clan MacFie. When he discovers his great grandfather’s shield has been stolen, he will stop at nothing to get it back and punish the one who stole it.

Now, in America he has found the shield but discovering the truth behind who stole it and falling in love with Abigail could cost him his life. How far will he go to get the shield back?

Purchase Sins of the Heart here!

WEBSITE   BLOG   FACEBOOK   TWITTER   AMAZON AUTHOR CENTRAL

GOODREADS   PINTEREST

To enter the giveaway Sarah would like for you to Like her Facebook Page. Click HERE for Rafflecopter. To follow the tour, click HERE.

Sarah’s other books on Amazon. Check them out through the links below!

DREAMS OF THE HIGHLANDER   ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS A SOUL MATE

 

Musings Under Moonlight, Streetlights Down Memory Lane, Tea Time Talks

Talk About First Kisses

darcy flynn, joy dent, sealed with a kiss
Sealed With a Kiss – Prequel to Keeper of My Heart

 COVER REVEAL!

My new short story, Sealed With a Kiss, the prequel to my novel, Keeper of My Heart, is now live on Amazon. My heroine, Katie, experiences a kiss that changes her life. It’s her first kiss and you’ll have to read the story to find out more about it. 🙂

What is it about first kisses? They stick in our heads and whether they’re good or not so good, we never forget that very first one.

Writing about Katie’s kiss got me thinking about my first. Not nearly as magical as hers. But memorable just the same.

Freddie (not his real name) and I were in eighth grade and had been in school together since first grade. He was my second grade crush and all through my childhood I thought he was soooo cute. 🙂 So, in eighth  grade when he asked me to be his girlfriend, I was pretty excited. My second grade crush, the boy I’d thought was the cutest thing I’d ever seen, wanted ME to be his girlfriend.

He offered to walk me home that day but on the way we stopped at one of the many canals in New Orleans. He led me to one of the trees that lined the canal and told me he wanted to kiss me.

As you can imagine, I was pretty nervous but also excited.  My heart raced and stuck in my throat as his lips neared mine. His kiss was not sensual or sexy. It was a boys kiss. From a fourteen year old teenager still trying to master the technique. But, for me it was a dream come true.

But, after it was over and my beating heart slowed to normalcy, he did something that shocked and appaled this starry eyed fourteen-year-old girl. He took out a notebook from his shirt pocket and told me I was number eleven. Then he went on to explain that in order for him to kiss me, I had to first be his girlfriend. I guess in his mind, that made it all right.

I stood there and watched him check off my name from the list and if that wasn’t enough, he read the list to me.

*Sob*

He was racking up points. I was nothing more than a conquest, another of his ‘bragging rights’ to his buddies. Then, to top it off,  he told me he couldn’t finish walking me home.

I was crushed. Humiliated. As I tearfully walked the rest of the way to my house, I decided I would NOT be his girlfriend. When I got home I went to my room and burst into tears.

Today, I love that story. I wouldn’t have wanted my first kiss to be with anyone else or have happened any other way.  I think it’s both hysterical and cute and the essence of teenage, hormonal awkwardness. I have to say, having raised a son, I soooo get Freddie. All the things I didn’t understand about boys while growing up, I had the privilege of learning firsthand from my son. But, I digress. That’s another post for another time.

Today, Freddie is married to one of my childhood friends, has beautiful grown children and precious grandchildren!

I would love to hear about your first kiss. Come on. Don’t be shy. Tell us all about it!

Streetlights Down Memory Lane

Carpe Diem

Carpe Diem and The Delta Queen

darcy flynn, joy dent, delta queen, riverboat, steamboat,
The Delta Queen – Art Print

This is a print of a pen and ink drawing by a very good friend of mine who passed away a couple of years ago. It’s not only special to me because of him, but the object in the drawing has significance to me, as well.

The Delta Queen, is an American sternwheel steamboat, historically, used for cruising the major rivers that constitute the drainage of the Mississippi River, particularly in the American South. So says Wikipedia.

I say, the Delta Queen was the the epitome of fascination and adventure! And THE most romantic riverboat ever to cruise the great rivers of America.

darcy flynn, joy dent, delta queen, riverboat, steamboat
The Delta Queen

Growing up, I often saw the Delta Queen docked in New Orleans and longed to board her. I had no idea my father often inspected that beautiful boat and knew her captain during that time.

So, once, when I was sixteen,  he took me to visit Captain Ernest Wagner when the Delta Queen was in the Port of New Orleans. The captain was a large jovial man and proudly gave me a tour of ‘his lady’. During the tour, someone played the calliope. The distinctive, old world sound added a festive air to the afternoon.

Here’s a little taste of the Delta Queen’s Calliope!

When it was over and my dad and I started to leave, Captain Wagner asked me if I would like to spend a few days traveling down river? There was only one window of opportunity available at the time as she was booked solid the rest of that summer. He told me if my father could get me to Louisville, KY, I could board her there and spend the next four days traveling down river like the gamblers of old.  He was gracious enough to include one of my girlfriends, if I was so inclined.

As you can imagine, I was elated.

So, I went home and asked my best friend if she could come with me. To my disappointment, she couldn’t. Then I asked another friend, and she couldn’t go either. And instead of being a brave adventurous soul, I declined the invitation.

Yes…you heard me right.

What is the saying, ‘if I had a nickel…for every time I thought what an idiot I was not to go by myself… I’d be rich!’ 🙂

Now, thanks to my artist friend, when I look at his drawing, I’m reminded…

To SAY YES to an invitation to explore.

To RESIST the urge to say ‘no’ because of fear.

And,

To SEIZE the moment, because it my be my last.

It reminds me that life is short. A vapor compared to eternity.

Has fear ever kept you from saying yes? Fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of possible embarrassment?

Did you miss an adventure because of it? Looking back, do you regret that decision? Why or why not?

I love to hear your stories, even the ones where you said, yes! Because, we all know that sometimes saying, ‘yes’ can be the wrong decision, as well. 🙂

Connect with me on Facebook, I’d LOVE to be your friend!

Streetlights Down Memory Lane

Simple Things

Daffodils

In my book, Keeper Of My Heart, my heroine, Katie McCullough, has a special bond with an elderly man whom she “adopted” at age ten as her ‘stand-in’ grandfather. One of the things I love about Katie is her devotion to this wonderful man.

As a child growing up in New Orleans, I knew a kind elderly lady named, Mrs. Bulleman. I called her Mrs. B. She lived across the street from us and for the most part was house bound. My mother, an avid gardener, had a cutting garden in the front of our little house on Wilton Drive, and once a week during the summer she’d cut a bouquet of flowers for her.

I had the privilege of bringing the flowers over to her house. As a little girl, this was a highlight for me because I was allowed to cross the street ‘all by myself’. I felt very grown up and knew I was doing something grand when I handed over the lush bouquet to this lovely lady. I can still see the joy on her face as she took the flowers from me. Most of the time she’d invite me in for a cold lemon aid and a piece of chocolate. I remember sitting in her semi dark parlor leaning over the coffee table hoping I’d pick a piece with a nut inside.

One Christmas when I was about nine or ten, I was in Sears shopping for presents with my mother. Armed with fifty cents I went through the store looking for something I could buy for my only living grandmother and for Mrs. B. I had adopted her as my ‘in town’ grandmother so no way could I leave her out. A sales lady suggested I buy each of them a butter knife. They were only twenty cents each.  So I did.

The knife I bought for Mrs B.

As the years went by and I grew older, it was my mother who took Mrs. B. her ‘weekly’ bouquet. But once, in my teen years, just as I was about to go out with friends, my mother grabbed me. “Run these over to Mrs. Bulleman. She hasn’t seen you all summer.”

I crossed the street with flowers in hand and was met with the same joyful reception I remembered as a child. Mrs. B. kindly offered me something cool to drink. I looked back at my friends, motioned for them to wait, and stepped inside her parlor.

Several years after Mrs. B died I was home planning my wedding when her daughter showed up at our back door. She smiled and handed me the little butter knife I’d given her mother all those years ago. A sweet flood of memories filled me as I recalled the day I bought her that knife. Her daughter shared with me how much my gift had meant to her mother and knew she would’ve wanted me to have it back.

Today, that simple, inexpensive knife sits by my butter dish. We use it every day. For me it’s a precious reminder of Mrs. B’s gracious acceptance of a small child’s gift and of how a life is touched by thoughtful actions and the simplest things.

Growing up, did you have an elderly neighbor that influenced you in a meaningful way?  Or maybe, there’s someone right now in your life that holds a special place as a surrogate grandparent either to you or to your children? Is there a special object or gift that reminds you of this person?

I would love to hear your stories.

Connect with me on Facebook, I’d LOVE to be your friend!