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Nice Guys…

It is true…they finish last, but they usually last longer than any other species! How many of you married a nice guy? If you did, then you’re probably still married to him. Jerks are typically divorced, possibly turned nice because they knew there was no other way, and maybe they’re re-married, or they are eating tv dinners alone with their dog who is licking the empty plastic container because, well they have a jerk for an owner. Now, how many of you dated the jerk before moving on to the nice guy? Yep, everyone, right? Well, a lot of you for sure. My apologies to the ones who married said jerks, thinking they would change them. I know I was one of those that dated the jerk. I had to. It’s the thing to do. That jerk is so tempting, so alluring, so needful to capture. Like a rare butterfly whose wings turn into cheap plastic decoys once they think they’ve got you.

I remember my jerk. He was a humongous flirt, dangerously cute, sweet talker, and a challenge. Nice guys are NO challenge. Their humility and kindness oozes from them like foam from a shaken coke can. They can’t hide it. It’s who they are–how they were raised. Or not. It’s just who they are. You can take your car and run over a nice guy. Apologize and all is forgiven. The jerk will drop you like a hot potato, no hesitation involved. And they will probably get in their car and leave a few tracks on your back, just for ‘Even Stevens’. Anyway, I digress. That jerk is cunning. You think he’s a mountain to climb, to place your flag, and let every girl know you’re out with Joe Cool. Shortly, after you’re sick to death of him checking himself out in the silverware at your table, you’re ready to move on. And that’s when Nice Guy comes into the picture. I have a few of those in my family. Of course, I do. 🙂 Their dad is nice, and I don’t raise jerks. 😉 And so I tell them, don’t worry boys, when the girls are tired of the jerks, suddenly you will come into focus for them. You will look like that hero on the white horse. The one that opens her car door, asks what she wants to do, where she wants to eat. Sadly, you will finish last. But it will be you that finished. Not the jerk. 

I’ve noticed all the trendy things going around now are ‘Be Kind’ geared. Really? We have to post this on social media? Be kind. What is this world coming to that this has to be a ‘thing’…a revival, a happening? There is honestly a movement where I live for this very sentiment. People painting it on rocks, features on the front page of the newspaper about people going around with signs… I guess this philosophy goes hand in hand with the jerk thing. Why are there jerks? Why does someone choose not to be nice and kind and giving and compassionate? Is the other way so much easier? I think it’s because kindness was never offered to them. Although this is a learned behavior, why should they? Obviously girls like it. For a short time. You date a jerk…if you’re lucky, you marry the nice guy.

And that’s just my little dessert plate of what the jerk and nice guy’s position in life are. Please feel free to comment if you feel differently! I love to hear from you. 🙂

Don’t forget, my new release comes out next week!!!! I’m too excited. No, really I am.

 Pre-order here! Oh, and of course, there is a jerk in the book. He has the tiniest of all parts. 🙂 Hey, it had to be true to life, didn’t it? Thank you kindly.

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Release Day

excitedOh my gosh! The final Amy book has been released into the world. I’m so flippin’ excited. I want to know what everyone thinks…did Amy get the ending they imagined? Was there any let down because of (fill in the blank). I want to know it all!

I don’t have to tell you, when I sat down to write the third book, I had no idea what was going to go down. I had a vague path, but the details were murky. As I moved along–chapter after chapter, I got a sense of where I wanted my wayward girl to end up. And end up she did! I’m really going to miss formulating Amy’s paths. Who knows, maybe I’ll visit her again on Cassique island. Maybe someone else in the story will need a little coaxing, and I’ll check up and see what Amy’s up to. For now, though, the story has ended and she is waiting for readers in the pages of “Finding Amy”. I hope everyone who began the journey, continues on. And if you haven’t yet begun…grab a copy of the first one! Personally, I love to wait until a series is complete before diving in. That way I don’t have to wait to read the next one. I’m like that on television series, too!

I won’t take up any limelight from Amy, but I just want to leave you with the knowledge that a new release is pending for December!! I’m hard at work putting the finishing touches on it. Until next post…

 

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So Long, August

september-1August was definitely a challenging month for me. I had exactly two weeks before all the chaos began to take place. And who can rest when all they hear is the constant ticking of the clock…tick, tock…tick, tock.

I had to spend the first part of the month preparing for back to school for everyone, including the preparation of sending my first born off to fend for himself in the throws of college. At a place he’s unaccustomed to, without anyone he knows. It was horrific. Perhaps more for me than him. Yes, I got upset. Who doesn’t? For eighteen years I did everything for that boy. And now I’m lucky if I get a phone call from him every couple of days. Which I’m not complaining. Okay, so I am…but I’m happy he’s not homesick and burning the wires telling me he’s got nothing to do. In fact, he’s more busy with four classes than he was with six at home. He’s become very social. And so I’m most happy for him.

Then came the new classes for everyone else in the family. And new teachers. It’s been quite a learning curve to know who will tolerate what and who won’t let you use the bathroom. Can you believe my 10 year old isn’t allowed to use the bathroom in the afternoon? Hello? By then, all the juices and water fountain trips are beginning to settle in the bladder. So I have to endure the car ride home with him doing a jig in the backseat. I simply advised him, upon being told he can’t use the bathroom, to ask if they still keep an emergency set of pants on hand…and do it in his chair. Is this obnoxious? Un-called for? Probably, but come on. Let the boy go take care of business, for goodness sakes.

So the schedules are now in place and September is upon us. I’m getting in the groove of how it’s going to be for the ending months of the year. And September is the month of the release for “Finding Amy.” I’m so excited about this! I’ve had a couple people read it and gotten really good comments. Squee!! And I’m putting it out there for free, for a limited time…just to get everyone primed for the third release. So please feel free to take advantage of this! And of course, let me know what you think. I love to read reviews. …well, some of them. 🙂

With that said, welcome, September! I’m happy to see you back around.

https://www.instafreebie.com/free/rVURO

 

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Life Imitating Fiction

narciso_zWhen I first began writing “Waking Amy”, it was a long time ago. Things were different…life was different. More importantly, different for my best friend. She is also one of my beta readers. She tells me like it is. Tells me when to flush the manuscript, bury it out back, and when she stayed up till past 2 in the morning just to see who ended up with who.

She enjoyed Amy…she had a few bouts of “why is she so weak”, but overall, found her to be a likeable girl. Flash forward a year later…to “Leaving Amy.” My friend began reading it as usual, and then something happened. Her marriage began to take some tumbles. She stopped reading my book, saying she just couldn’t do it. It reflected her life too much. All that happened in “Waking Amy” was starting to take form in her own life. She was becoming Amy!

This past month has taken a turn for the worst. Her husband left her like Wesley left Amy…and for the same reasons. Out of left field. How does that happen? I’m not naïve to the fact that there are two sides to every situation, and there must’ve been some writing on the walls, but to leave? When there are children? And not to go back? Not to try? To just throw your arms up, say “it’s been real for the last 15 years, but I think I’m going to go and do something different now.” ?

Needless to say, it’s been extremely painful to watch her go through this. To wake up one morning and know she’s a single mom, and clueless to what the next year will bring with custody and support. I dedicated “Leaving Amy” to her. I had no idea I was writing her story in bits and pieces. On a side note, she put my book away and has yet to finish it.

My third Amy book is about resolution. Without spoiling the second book, which releases on May 1st, Amy seeks to find herself in the final edition. As I sit and watch all the struggles my friend is facing, it helps me write. I will find her voice and I will give her courage. Even if it takes until whenever that she is able to read it.

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Lost to a Generation

inside-blockbusterIs it just me, or did someone else out there remember doing this on the weekend? Going to the video store was as necessary as sleeping in on Saturday morning. And if you didn’t get there early enough, the selection for the new releases was picked dry. Don’t get me started on the late fee anxiety. By the time I took the thing back, the late fees could’ve bought it. But wasn’t it fun? Standing around, reading the backs of empty boxes, and picking out the popcorn in the buckets that popped up pretty in its own container. The video store is where I actually met my husband for our first real date. We were going to pick out a movie together and then take it to my house to watch. That way my mother could meet him, watch him for 2 hours, and size him up for not being a killer. He was actually 20 minutes late and I almost left.

Sadly I remember video stores when they carried VHS or Beta tapes. And if you brought it back without rewinding it, they charged an extra 25-50 cents!

More sadly is that my children will not have this ritual available to them. Instead, they watch as I get out of the car and wait to use the Red box. How impersonal. And annoying! Have you ever stood behind someone in 20 degree weather while they read the description to every movie on the screen? Yeah, okay…sometimes I’m that person. But who can help it. I need to know what they’re about. I certainly don’t make a habit of it, but how annoying the entire thing is. Someone standing behind me huffing somehow makes me rush. Not that this trick helps in all situations. Some people certainly don’t care when I huff behind them! And you’re lucky if you find a Red box. Give me a Blockbuster any day. Of course living out in the boonies, Netflix is not an option for me. If only. But still, I think if given the choice of dialing one up on my television or going to the video store, I might….take the television. But I still long for the store. Someone please tell me a Kindle will never take the bookstores away. I looove my Kindle, but I love the smell of books more. 🙂

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Meet Tom McTavish

thZO9ADQYGI don’t know if you watch the show or not, but last night there was a Jesse Stone marathon playing on television. It was rather late before I realized it was on, but I stayed awake as long as I could, watching that man solve crimes. There is just something about Tom Selleck that lights a spark for me.Which is why I had to include him in one of my very own books, “Waking Amy” no less! I know, I know…he’s old. Well, not that old. But, he’s older than Amy. That’s okay. Anyone read Steve Martin’s “Shopgirl”? It works. Younger girls like older guys, and obviously the opposite is true. It doesn’t take too many examples to prove the theory. There is something to be said of an older gentleman.

There’s also something to be said about Tom. Something very relaxing….confident…alluring…mysterious. That’s why he’s the perfect Tom McTavish. I sometimes write using the person’s name just to remind me of the character I’m envisioning.

So a little bit about Tom, in “Waking Amy”. He’s a bachelor, and hasn’t really dated since divorcing his wife seven years ago. Work consumes him, which is probably why he’s divorced, and he’s fine with that. Or so he thought, until he met Amy…

He meets this younger girl (Amy) at a wedding. She has flowing red hair, freckles dotting the bridge of her nose, and a beauty that radiates from the inside out. He’s never seen her before—doesn’t seem to know her relation to the bride or groom. Incidentally, he’s the bride’s uncle. He approaches this free spirit, who seems to be there without a date, and asks her to dance. He can’t believe it after he asks—he hasn’t danced in years! There’s been no occasion or reason to. But, she says yes.

He takes her out to the dancefloor and suddenly a joy overcomes him. Starting as a dizzy spell in his head and moving its way down to his light-as-air feet.  He’s drunk with happiness. Suddenly nothing else existed around him. There were no other dancers, no toddlers hanging on the skirts of their mothers. Even the music was less blaring. All of the clutter that had loitered his mind about work and going home later to eat that stale muffin on the counter had disappeared. All he could think about was Amy. This girl with fair-colored skin, and blue eyes that twinkled in the candlelit canopies.

He watched as her shy smile peeked out when he raised his eyebrows and swung her around. How her hair bounced on her shoulders, and her dress had become something to be jealous of. Because it was able to touch her as he wanted. Small whiffs of her perfume drifted by every time she turned her head—making his eyes close and remember what it was like to smell the neck of a woman. How he wanted to get lost in her smell.

Alas, the song came to an end. He earnestly asked for just one more. Out of breath, she shook her head meekly, ‘no’. His lips pinched as he smiled and thanked her for at least that one. And then she disappeared into the crowd. It didn’t take long for him to go in search of this beautiful creature. He needed to make sure what had just happened, the new skip in his heart, was not a mirage. Not some slight of hand that only happened at weddings, when love was so thick in the air that it could be cut.

Excerpt from “Waking Amy”: (written in first person)

After I finished, I examined myself in the full-length mirror, pinching my cheeks for added color. They even had cloth napkins for drying your hands, displayed on a center basket on the shiny, black vanity. I think I’d have passed out if they had a sofa for lounging, equipped with a man holding a fan, ready to serve me at my beck and call. They didn’t, but the size of the room could have accommodated such a fantasy come true.

A lady held the door as I stepped out to the two-story, vaulted recreation room. I hesitated when I saw Tom waiting outside the bathroom door. “Hello.”

“Are you coming back to the party?”

He looked different in this light. More sophisticated, more grown up, older. Only by fifteen years, I thought. But still as good looking as he looked in the moonlight. He had a little Alec Baldwin to his look. Stylish and devilishly handsome.

“I’m actually on my way out. My friend is waiting for me.” I bit the corner of my lip. Had someone flipped a switch inside me and managed to turn on a light that had been off for the past ten years of my life? I never got this much attention before now. So, is this what Ashley felt like all the time?

“That’s a shame. I was hoping to have another dance with you.” He flashed me his best puppy-dog eyes. “What if I gave you a ride home?”

Before I could answer Mark came around the corner. He must have heard the last part of Tom’s question to me. “Amy, are you ready?”

I looked at the two guys, one and then the other. “I appreciate it, but I have to go. I don’t live close by.”

“That’s okay. If your friend is all right with it, I can manage to get you home safely.” He looked away from Mark and back toward me. “I think we could have a good time. They haven’t cut the cake yet. You can’t leave before trying the cake.”

“I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be all right with it. I can take her home just fine,” Mark said, interrupting him.

The match was struck. I felt a hot wind blow across me. This was what it felt to be the prom queen. It’s better than a roller coaster ride.

“Thank you though.” I interceded before any further male lingo was slung. The testosterone levels were reaching knee-deep. I had to find a way to clear the drain and walk out of there without any problems. Mark was stamping his ownership and I didn’t seem to mind.

Tom hesitated before saying anything else. My eyes told him to please let it go. “Let me give you my card. Call me when you don’t already have a chauffeur. I’d like to take you out sometime.”

            I took the card and pleasantly smiled at him. I knew I’d never see him again, but still, he was a good dancer and frightfully refined. Mark held out his arm and waited to escort me out. I suddenly felt like I was five-years-old and being punished for bad behavior. His silence led me to a million conclusions.

end of excerpt

Incidentally, Amy does bump into Tom again. He’s in all three books, and I’ve loved every minute of it!

https://www.amazon.com/author/julieanndove