Tag Archives: maine

Excerpt Wednesday – Summer with a Star – First Kiss

Feb 25, 2015


It’s my favorite day! Excerpt Wednesday! And nothing is more fun then sharing a first look at a new book. Not just that, let’s start with the yummy first kiss between Tasha and Spencer, the heroine and hero of Summer with a Star, coming on Monday, March 9th, as an Amazon exclusive! So without further ado….


She sighed, hugging her cooling coffee close. “It’s such a typical story. The kind of thing that happens in movies.” She arched an eyebrow at him. “The worst part is, I put so much faith in him for so long, that when it all came crumbling down, I didn’t feel hurt. Not at all. I didn’t ache like my heart had been broken, I felt stupid. I feel stupid.”

She lowered her eyes, not bothering to fight off the ache of that stupidity as it welled up in her. She was an idiot, one who ran away from her problems, thinking a summer in an expensive house all alone could cure her of that. Well, the alone part hadn’t worked out. The rest of it probably wouldn’t either.

She was halfway through sliding down into even deeper despair when Spence inched closer to her. He set his coffee down, plucked her mug out of her hands and deposited it beside his, then cupped her jaw with his free hand, turning her head toward him. As she met his eyes, he brought his mouth down against hers.

The sensation of lips against lips, warm skin pressing so close, took her by surprise. He was gentle, yet confident. She could smell the salt of the sea on his skin. He teased his tongue along the line of her lips until she opened to him. He tasted of coffee and dinner, and the promise of starlit summer nights. She could float away on a kiss like that.

Instead she leaned into him, resting her fingertips against his side. He tensed, caught his breath—so subtly she could have imagined it—then redoubled the passion as he explored her mouth with his own. Every delicious instinct she had pushed her to snuggle closer to him, to dance her tongue alongside his, to drink him in. She could get lost in a dream like this. Her, clueless teacher, Tasha Pike, making out with Spencer Ellis.

Reality slammed back into her with the force of a train. She gasped and pulled back.

“Wow,” she breathed, struggling to pull herself together. “What was that?”

“A kiss,” he answered. If she wasn’t mistaken, his composure had slipped a little. Warm patches of color spilled across his cheeks.

“That much I got.” She grinned, still not quite believing it. “Why?”

“Why kiss you?”

She nodded.

He shrugged. “Can’t a man just feel like kissing a woman?”

“Sure,” she said, though what she thought was, not Spencer Ellis, not kissing me.

“Besides.” He brushed the back of his fingers along the line of her jaw, drawing her closer before letting go and sitting straight. “You looked like you could use a kiss.”

That was a good thing, right?

“So, do you usually go around kissing women who look like they need it?” She did her best to act cool, as if he hadn’t just raised the temperature in the entire state of Maine by ten degrees.

His sheepish laugh only made things worse. “No. Not really. I am glad you let me, though.”

“You are?”

He nodded. “I’ve been trying to break down the wall you put up for five days now. Looks like I finally did it.”

“Looks like,” she answered. She didn’t know whether to laugh or brush the whole thing off, or lunge at him for a repeat performance.

The problem was solved for her when Spence retrieved both of their coffee mugs, handing hers over.

“Thanks,” he said with a smile before taking a sip.

“Any time,” she answered. A second later, she realized what that implied.

He lifted his brow as if accepting her challenge.

She hid the swirl of butterflies that followed by drinking her coffee. What a difference a day made. She’d learned her lesson: being a stupid jerk earned no kisses, but getting over yourself did. As she settled back to watch the last of the sunset, Spencer’s solid heat beside her, she wondered what other rewards she could earn for good behavior that summer.


Summer with a Star is my first contemporary romance, and the first book in a new series, Second Chances. As you read Summer with a Star, you’ll hear the main character, Spencer Ellis, a big-time movie star, mention the script for the pilot episode of a TV show that he’s thinking of signing on to: Second Chances. All of the books in the Second Chances series will involve characters who are involved in the TV show, from its actors to directors to the catering staff (trust me, that’s going to be an excellent story!). You won’t want to miss it!

Lucky for you, you can preorder Summer with a Star now, right here on Amazon.


Epic Road Trip – Part One: Maine

Dec 03, 2013
A little piece of Nova Scotia

A little piece of Nova Scotia

When I told some of my coworkers at the day job that I was going on a quick 5-day vacation to Halifax, Nova Scotia and that I would be driving the whole way up and back, a few of them said I was crazy. Their first question was, “How long of a drive is that?” The second question was, of course, “Why on earth would you want to do that?”

The answer to the first question, as it turns out, is roughly 17 hours. I added a couple by playing “Ooo, I wonder if this is a shortcut” and losing three times—twice in Connecticut and once in New Brunswick. As far as why? Simple: I love long car trips.

The joy of a long car trip for me is that it enables me to see a lot of stuff. I really wish that I could take pictures with my eyes alone to share what exactly I saw with everyone. There are so many interesting things in this country and in Canada! Just looking at the landscape change subtly from a Mid-Atlantic temperate environment to what I can only describe in my uneducated way as not quite the Arctic tundra but getting kind of close was really interesting. I more or less went from rolling, fertile hills and deciduous trees to rocks and pine trees as far as the eye can see.

But I’ll get to all that later. Today, let’s talk about Maine.

I love Maine! I really do. I’ve been there once before for the space of, like, a day and a half. There’s something about the atmosphere of Maine, something about its feel. The only way I can think to describe it is that if you’re going to live in Maine you have to be a little tough and a lot independent. It has that vibe to it.

Maine on the drive back - not quite so nice

Maine on the drive back – not quite so nice

I was reading recently that as recently as the early 20th century, there were still parts of the backwoods of Maine that were more or less unexplored. That’s pretty cool when you think about it! Here we were as a nation, looking west and exploring out to the Rockies and the Pacific, but way back here on the east coast a big chunk of land was relatively unknown.

You can definitely feel that driving through the middle of Maine today. I think I drove through or around the three major cities of Maine—Portland, Augusta, and Bangor—on my way to Canada. They really aren’t that big, at least not to someone from Philadelphia. At the same time, each of those cities has their own unique feeling of age and importance. As I looked out my window at Bangor I had a strong Victorian feel about it. It’s as if the history is still there in the hills and trees. The vibe of the city was definitely old, but in the good way!

As soon as you drove through each of these cities, you were back in the middle of nowhere again. But not the boring, monotonous middle of nowhere (no offense, but that was New Brunswick). Maine’s middle of nowhere felt alive. The forests had a lot of energy and life in them. No, I don’t mean esoteric “energy”, although you could argue that too. I’m talking about the fact that I fully expected to see a moose or a bear come charging out of the trees and into the road at any second.

I’m kind of disappointed that I didn’t see any moose, actually. There are signs warning people about moose crossing all along the road. I hope I’ll see my moose someday. But I digress.

Maine is cool because even driving through it at 65 miles an hour you have a sense that people there are willing to go the extra mile. Literally. I followed a FedEx van from Bangor all the way out to I don’t even know where we were, but it took about an hour to get there. One little FedEx van. And he didn’t even stop to deliver anything else along the way. He just zipped all the way out to that one place to deliver the package. Nice!

A view of Halifax from inside the Citadel (a Victorian fort that is pretty amazing)

A view of Halifax from inside the Citadel (a Victorian fort that is pretty amazing)

Okay, I’ll tell you a little something else that is jumping ahead of my story of vacation a little. I think that next time I do something like this I won’t go all the way up into Canada, I’ll just zip out to Bar Harbor. That’s where I went last time I was in Maine, and even though that was just for one night, I kind of loved it. A lot. And I had the most amazing blueberry ice cream I’ve ever tasted.

So that’s my story of Maine. Tomorrow I’ll continue with my take on New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Was Halifax worth the two-day drive?