Tag Archives: contemorary romance

#atozchallenge, E is for Easter…

“A fix up, Gran?  On Easter?”

“Darling, Jason is a wonderful neighbor.  He’s just about your age.  He would have gone to the fire station for dinner.”

“He’s some Neanderthal, musclebound firefighter?”

Someone coughed and Ellie realized the gorgeous guy with the amused blue eyes had heard her as he came through the back door.  Cheeks flaming, she held out her hand.  “I’m sorry  –”

Jason just took her hand and grinned.  “Probably some truth there, El.  This is my Grandpa Jim. Esther,  I believe you two have met?”

Gran blushed prettily.  “Why, Jim, I had no idea Jason was your grandson.”


My theme this year is 100 word fiction.   (No, this line doesn’t count!)

Lessons Learned, Part 7


Here’s a link to Part 6 if you missed it!

I woke up the next morning with a dull headache.  Then it got even stronger as I remembered all the crap that had gone on the night before.  I couldn’t believe it.  Bobby was Rob and was here in Maui and I had to see him all weekend because we were in the same wedding!   He had been really sweet to me and that just made it worse, because I had so much — maybe hate isn’t the right word — but all those years of feeling abandoned were there inside me and I still felt so angry when I thought about him not being there for me.

And yet –- what if he hadn’t known about the baby?  What if it was just like he said and he hadn’t gotten a message from his dad and my mom hadn’t told him how to reach me when I was away at school?  Oh, no, I can’t even  think about this right now…

My cellphone is ringing and I see that it’s Jamie.  “Hi,” I say, trying to sound more cheerful than I feel.  “You didn’t call me yesterday,” she says accusingly.  “I left you a bunch of messages.  I thought we were going to meet for dinner last night.”  “Oh, um, I didn’t feel well, James,” I mumble, which is not really a lie.  I felt like I’d had the shock of my life last night, which, frankly, I had.  Passing out at the airport was just the icing on the cake.

“Oh, no, are you better this morning?” she asks.  “Do you feel like getting together for lunch in a little bit and checking out the resort?  Mike is talking to Rob right now and we thought you two should have a chance to meet before all the wedding stuff starts.”  She sounds so concerned that I start to feel guilty.

“Yeah, about that,” I sigh, “James, I really need to talk to you.  Is there coffee around here somewhere?”  “Well, Reg, in the kitchen right there is a coffee maker.  But there’s a Starbucks downstairs in the General Store.”

“What if you give me a half hour to shower and get dressed and I’ll meet you at the Starbucks?” I say, grimacing at my swollen eyes in the mirror.  “Sure,” Jamie says, sounding a little surprised.  “We can sit outside on the terrace by the lobby and have coffee and talk if you want.  Oh, wait, what, Mike?”  She obviously covers the phone with her hand because all I hear is muffled voices and then she’s back. “Okay, I need to know what’s going on.  Mike says that Rob wants to meet him at the restaurant and talk.  I mean, what are the chances that the two of you both need to talk this morning?”

“Yeah, well, give me a half hour and I’ll explain it all,” I say and she reluctantly agrees.  “You better be prepared to spill,” she warns, “because this is just weird.”   “Sure, okay, let me get in the shower already.  I’ll meet you downstairs about 10:45.”

I hang up quickly because I’m starting to get a pain in my stomach.  I’m wondering what Bobby is planning to share with Mike and I try to decide if I have to tell Jamie the whole truth.  She knew I’d broken up with a boyfriend right before college, but I don’t think I’d shared all the gory details with her, even after nights of too many beers and true confessions.  I’d kept this buried for so long and now twice in two days I had to go over all the details again.  Oh, well, catharsis for the soul, maybe…

After the quickest shower on record, I bundle my hair into a knot at the back of my head, slip on shorts and a t-shirt and head down to look for the Starbucks.  God, it’s beautiful here.  It’s probably 80 degrees and sunny out, maybe one or two puffy clouds in the sky.  The pool is huge and blue and sparkling and surrounded by gorgeous tropical flowers growing on hedges.  I cross over a koi pond while following the signs to the General Store.  As I go in, I see Jamie is already there and she’s looking quizzically at me.

I hurry over and we order our coffees and rolls.  I can hardly look at her because I’m so afraid I’ll burst into tears.  I guess I’ve been holding these feelings in so long that everything is so close to the surface now.  We go outside and find a couple of big wooden rockers to sit in and a table to put our drinks on.

“Okay,” she says, “Please tell me what it is, Reg.  You look as though you could burst into tears any minute.  Come on, I’m getting married tomorrow.  I need you to be happy!”

I want to, too, but that just brings the tears closer to the surface.  Then, just my luck, a young couple walks by with a little girl in a stroller and she waves at us.  God help me, I can feel the tears coursing down my cheeks.  I try to wave back and pretend everything is okay behind my sunglasses, but Jamie is looking alarmed.  “Please, Reg,” she whispers, “Tell me what’s going on?”

So for the next half hour, I talk and we rock and sip our coffees while tears run down both of our faces.

~Diane D.                                   ~ The photo is my own


#EMBRACETHENEWYEAR — New Releases from Embrace


Are you ready to start the year off with two spectacular new adult releases from Embrace?  Enjoy an
intense romantic scifi thriller with Altered by debut author, Marnee Blake, or an emotional roller-
coaster ride contemporary romance in Last Wish by Erin Butler.

Follow the hashtag #EmbracetheNewYear on Instagram and Twitter and start the year off right!

Altered by Marnee Blake

ALTERED 500x700The sickness came on suddenly and violently. When it was done, waitress Blue Michaels was different in a really strange way. And the entire town of Glory was dead…except for her.

Only that’s not exactly true. A handful of people made it, including U.S. Army Specialist Seth Campbell, who was caught in the wrong town at the worst time. He’s fierce and protective, and way too good-looking. As much as they need a leader—as much as Blue wants to trust him—
there are too many questions and not enough time for answers. Now they are hunted. But what their pursuers don’t know is each of them has strange new powers. And they’ll use their “gifts” to survive…no matter who stands in their way.

Purchase a copy of ALTERED: AmazonB&N | Kobo | EntangledGoodreads

About Marnee Blake:


Marnee Blake was a 2014 & 2015 Golden Heart® Finalist and holds a BA in English literature from Dickinson College. She used to teach high school students but these days she 0nly has to wrangle her own children. Originally from a small town in Western Pennsylvania, she now battles traffic in southern New Jersey where she lives with her hero husband and their happily-ever-after: two very energetic boys. When she isn’t writing, she can be found refereeing disputes between her children, cooking up something sweet, or hiding from encroaching dust bunnies with a book.

Marnee’s debut, ALTERED, a NA sci-fi romantic thriller, will release in December 2015 from Entangled Publishing.

Connect with Marnee Blake

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads♥♠♥♠♥♠♥♠♥


Last Wish by Erin Butler

Nothing feels right. Not since my best friend died and I fucked up the LastWish_500one promise he asked me to make. The past follows me everywhere, tangling me up like weeds, reminding me that my life is empty. So fucking empty.

Then she walks into the bar, all bright beauty and sweet lips made for kissing.

Em Stewart is a complication…one I need to avoid. She’s got heavy secrets of her own, ones she hides from her friends—and lies about to herself.

No matter how hard I try, I can’t resist her, and our unexpected road trip sure as hell isn’t helping my cause. But I’ll be damned if I screw up my first chance at something real…

Purchase a copy of LAST WISH:  Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo |


About Erin Butler:


Erin Butler is lucky enough to have two jobs she truly loves. As a librarian, she gets to work with books all day long, and as an author, Erin uses her active imagination to write the kinds of books she loves to read. Young Adult and New Adult books are her favorites, but she especially fangirls over a sigh-worthy romance.

She lives in Central New York with her very understanding husband, a stepson, and doggie BFF, Maxie. Preferring to spend her time indoors reading or writing, she’ll only willingly go outside for chocolate and sunshine—in that order.

Connect with Erin Butler