INTENSIVE CARE Cover Reveal!

Coming August 4th:

The compelling third book of the

Diagnosis: Love Trilogy!

Preorder here!

If Grey’s Anatomy makes your heart flutter, this series is for you.

He’s science and tradition. I’m nature and new age. We clash at every turn. 

Emma

I don’t know who I am anymore.

I broke the heart of someone dear to me because I couldn’t love him the way he deserves. I threw away a chance of happiness because I can’t stop wanting a man who has proven that he doesn’t know how to love me.

When it comes to my patients, I’m an eternal optimist. Maybe that’s why I’m determined to try one more time with Deacon.

As long as there’s life, there’s hope. And hope is all I have.

Deacon

I don’t know what to do.

I thought I’d lost the woman who haunts me, body and soul. I was sure that she was in love with someone else. I was prepared for the pain, again. I was braced for the hurt. But I was wrong.

I have one last chance with her. If I screw it up this time, I’ll lose her forever, and if that happens, I know I’ll also lose my only hope for happiness.

I never give up on a patient. And I’m not giving up on us.

Coming August 4th:

The compelling third book of the

Diagnosis: Love Trilogy!

Preorder here!

 

What’s coming up in the next few years?

What’s coming up next in your favorite series? Here’s a sneak peek at the anticipated titles releasing over the next few years . . .

 

 

 

Anti-Cinderella World Romances

A Dozen Dreams (Featuring Shelby from The Anti-Cinderella and Fifty Frogs)
Sort of Sleeping Beauty (Alex and Jake)
Slightly Snow White (Daisy and Roc)

Anti-Cinderella Chronicles

The Anti-Cinderella Goes Rogue
–The Anti-Cinderella Goes Hollywood
–The Anti-Cinderella Goes For Broke

Crystal Cove Romances

The Play (Naomi {Alex and Cal’sgestational surrogate})
The Pair (Jessica and Graham)
The Prize (Lexie {Cooper’s daughter} and Joe Scarver who met in Underneath My Christmas Tree)

Love in a Small Town Romances

The Wanted One (Lucie from The Forever One)
The Take-Home One (West {Hunter’s manager} )
The Rock My World One (Kiki and Troy)

Making the Score

Going Deep (Kyle (Jenny’s brother from Pretend You’re Mine)  and sports reporter Lana DiMartino from Down By Contact)
Illegal Touching (Mystery Couple! Revealing would be a spoiler)
On the Seam (Danny (Leo’s brother))
Read All About It (Gabby (Gideon’s sister) and Lilly (Gideon’s ex)

Career Soldier West Point Tour of Duty

The Firstie (Coach Casey’s daughter Willlow and Dean Lassiter, Army football QB)
The Snake Eater (April and Simon {special forces}, two officers in Nolan’s former MP company)

Perfect Dish

–Family Reunion (featuring Ava, Liam, Amanda, Vincent, Jude, Paige from Shavetail)

Love in a Small Town Re-Read: The Last One

In 2013, I wrote my first adult contemporary romance. It was called The Posse, and it was set in a small Florida beach town. I assumed it would be a single, stand-alone title, and that would be it. Then I’d go back to my YA/NA paranormal romance books.

WRONG! First of all, there were more books in Crystal Cove. Second, there was just something about Jude’s daughter Meghan that drew me. I knew she had a story. And when that story began to unfurl, I realized that it was taking me to an entirely new small town.

So I decided that in the summer of 2014 I would write that story. What I didn’t realize was that both the book and the summer would be a turning point.

At that time, I had written seven books–and most were paranormal romance. Four were young adult. I fully expected to go back to paranormal romance as my main genre.

And my family was living in Sanford, Florida. If that sounds familiar, it should: some of the more notorious Florida cases in recent years have either happened there or been tried there. It wasn’t our first choice of homes, but through a series of circumstances, we’d ended up moving there in 2012. By 2014, I couldn’t wait to get out of there.

At the start of that summer of 2014, we’d decided it was time to move. My husband, at the time a hospice chaplain, was working about an hour away. We had the option to move to the east coast of the state to be closer to his work. But there was also a chance that he was going to be offered a position in parish ministry on the west coast of the state. We weren’t sure what was going to happen, we couldn’t make any move until we knew . . . so we were in limbo. We were packing boxes, but we didn’t know where we would land.

And in the midst of that, I wrote a book.

Meghan is also in a time of flux. Her father has died. Her mother fell in love with and married a man who had been a long-time family friend. Her younger brother learned that he was a father and also got married, and then came home to help run their family’s restaurant.

She has just finished her third year of college and embarked on a summer gig to teach art to an underserved community. She isn’t entirely sure what she wants: romance? Probably not. True love? Definitely not. She talks about reinventing herself in a new place. Getting away. Is there some part of Meghan that wanted to escape herself? Most definitely!

Sam, on the other hand, has his feet firmly on the ground. He’s serious and focused on keeping the family farm above water. When he meets Meghan the first time (after her night at the Road Block) he makes some really big judgments that might not be based on her actions as much as they are on his own feelings.

The Last One is about two people falling in love, when doing that is the last thing either of them wanted or expected. But it’s also about life in a small town, about healing after loss and about being courageous enough to take a chance.

We’re going to discuss all of the Love in a Small Town books in my reader groups, both on Facebook (the Temptresses) and on the forum attached to this site (Tawdra’s Inside Squad). Come join us there to chat!

Meghan and Sam . . . The Last One (Six Years Later!)

{Sam and Meghan’s story begins in The Last One, where they find their happily-ever-after. It continues through The First One, The Only One, The Always One, The Hard One and The Forever One  . . . and the pair are even mentioned a few times in some Crystal Cove Romances, too! But wait, there’s more! I have two previously shared extra epilogues . . . and now a new update on the pair right here.You might want to read the other two first. Enjoy!}

–Meghan and Sam at the Beach

–Fourth of July . . . Small Town Style

The peaceful quiet of my late-afternoon was pierced by a wail coming through the baby monitor that perched on the kitchen table, next to the bowl of green beans I was in the middle of popping for dinner. I grimaced, waiting for the inevitable, and I wasn’t disappointed: a second voice joined the first complaints.

I groaned and rested my forehead against my hand. It wasn’t that I didn’t love my sweet babies–I did, so much. But this time of day was tough for all of us. My mother had sympathetically called it the witching hour when I’d described how between the end of their last nap and the beginning of dinner,  nothing seemed to make the little ones happy.

The misery was compounded this time of year, too, because Sam was so busy, he didn’t get in from the fields until much later. During the winter, I loved that he was at the house so much. I’d gotten positively spoiled by having a second parent around to help me corral the kidlets. But right now, he was up to his neck in onions, tomatoes, and peaches.

The noise level from upstairs rose another decibel, and I pushed back my chair to comfort the twins before things got worse.

***

Twenty minutes later, we were all back in the kitchen. Daniella, my chestnut-haired daughter, was busy on the floor with a metal pot and a wooden spoon, while her red-haired brother Justin was in the high chair finishing his second banana. I’d learned from hard experience that not letting their hunger get ahead of me was key to survival.

I’d just settled back at the table with my beans when I heard a knock on the kitchen door, which was followed in short order by the knob turning as my sister-in-law’s face appeared.

“Yoohoo! Anyone home?”

Both of the twins stopped what they were doing, their attention arrested, and then in unison, they broke into squeals of delight. Aunt Ali was a favorite among my little brood. Happily for all of us, she and her husband, Flynn, along with their two children, had just moved back to Burton to live here full-time after years of dividing their time between New York City and the little house they’d built here on the farm. Ali had told me privately that she was sick of big-city living, but their official reason for making the move was that they were expecting their third baby and wanted to be closer to family.

I watched with a smile as Ali scooped up Daniella and loved on her before turning to Justin to blow raspberries in his neck. When she’d pulled out a chair and plunked down with Dani in her lap, I cocked an eyebrow.

“Were you in the neighborhood, or are you just here to check on my sanity?”

Ali laughed. “Both. I just left the stand in the capable hands of Matt Westin. He’s doing a terrific job over there, which is awesome because I don’t feel like waddling around this fall when I’m huge.” She patted the tiny bump behind my daughter. “But I’m here for a reason. I’m kidnapping your babies.”

I frowned. “What? Why?”

“Because I know what it’s like to have a toddler, and I can only imagine that two is double the . . . fun.” She winked.

“Did your brother put you up to this?” I narrowed my eyes.

“He told me that you’ve been worn out, and he was worried because he feels like he can’t be in two places at once. So . . . I offered to come take these little cherubs home with me for the night.”

“Are you sure?” I was dubious. “It’s not like you don’t have your own hands full.”

“Ah, but the difference is that I have Bridget. Never underestimate the value of a fourteeen-year-old girl who loves babies.”

That was true. My niece was wonderful with the twins.

“So go get the kids’ stuff . . . and then take a nap before my brother gets home.”

I suddenly had a burst of energy at the prospect of an evening alone with my sexy husband. “Just give me five minutes!”

I heard Ali giggling, but I was too busy taking the steps two at a time to care.

***

An hour and a half later, I was a new woman. I’d taken a long and leisurely bath, taking the time to shave all the interesting parts of my body that had been recently neglected. Over my smooth and sleek skin, I’d pulled on a floaty sundress . . . and nothing else.

Back down in the kitchen, I cleaned up Dani’s pots and spoons and Justin’s messy high chair. I was just rinsing my hands when I glanced out the window at a very arresting sight.

My husband stood in his usual position at the outside sink in the shed. He’d shucked off his T-shirt and was letting the water run over his hands, splashing it onto his sculpted chest.

With a wide grin, I dashed out the kitchen door and danced across the grass, slipping behind him to wrap my arms around his middle and press my cheek into his muscled back.

I was fairly certain that he hadn’t heard me, but he wasn’t surprised by my touch. His hands, still wet, covered mine.

“Who could this be?” His voice, teasing and low, rumbled against my ear. “Careful, my wife might be around somewhere.”

“Ah, don’t worry about your wife. She’s a mess. I’m much more fun. I’m the hot college student who’s just here for the summer. The one who’s been teasing you and flirting with you for weeks. The one who keeps you up at night, making you wonder what she’s wearing under her dresses.”

“Oh, really?” Sam turned in my arms, drawing me against him. His eyes, hot and wanting, bore into mine. “And have you been watching me out here?”

“Every. Single. Day.” I punctuated the words with open-mouthed kisses to his chest.

“Hmmmm.” He threaded his fingers into my hair. “You smell damn good, too. Good enough for me to scoop up and carry upstairs to my bedroom . . . where I fully intend to do dirty things to you all night long.”

I shivered in delight and hooked my arms around his neck. “I hope that’s a promise.”

“It is.” Angling his head, Sam lowered his mouth to mine, his lips and tongues giving me a tantalizing preview of exactly what to expect.

When he came up for air, he pressed his forehead to mine. “By the way . . . even though it was that sexy, teasing college girl I fell in love with, it’s my much sexier and even hotter wife who keeps me in love.” His hand framed my face.

I sighed, kissing his jaw. “Sometimes I forget that.”

Sam’s lips curved into a smile that was brimming with love and promise. “Then let me spend tonight reminding you, darlin’.”

And let me tell you . . . he did.

An early taste of INFORMED CONSENT

I’m so excited! This is the very first sneak peek excerpt of Informed Consent Book 1 of Diagnosis: Love. If you’ve been reading the serial Pretend You’re Mine, you already got a little taste of St. Agnes Hospital and Dr. Girard . . . but in this section, the new naturopath doctor meets the sexy guy in charge. But who’s really the boss?

Preorder here! Coming July 21st


“Oh, my God. Why didn’t you tell me he was back?” Darcy’s eyes went round as she whispered to the nurse next to her—I couldn’t remember the other woman’s name. Addy? Abby? Something like that.

“I didn’t know. He wasn’t scheduled to be here until Monday.” Both women’s eyes were fastened somewhere over my shoulder, and I had the irresistible human urge to twist in my chair to see the object of their excitement, even though I had a hunch that I already knew the answer. With a sense of fatalistic resignation, I ventured a glance down the hallway.

The man who stood outside of Angela Spencer’s room, reading from her file, had a . . . presence. I wasn’t sure why that was my first impression of him, but it was true. I could only see him profile, and the corridor was dim, since we hadn’t yet switched the lights to full brightness for the day shift, but even from this angle, I made out the breadth of his shoulders and the way his dark gray T-shirt hugged his chest. I noticed that his hair was longer than I’d expected it to be; the way everyone in this hospital talked about the revered Dr. Deacon Girard, I thought he’d be perfectly coiffed, with hair like my Ken doll used to have. Of course, old Ken’s ‘do had been molded plastic . . .

Dr. Foxy, I thought, remembering Jenny’s confidences with a smirk.

As though he felt the weight of my stare, Dr. Girard’s head turned slightly. I couldn’t tell for sure from this distance, but I thought maybe he was looking at me. My face grew warm, and I hoped like hell my cheeks weren’t flaming red.

With no little effort, I bent my head over the keyboard again and tried to remember what I’d been doing a minute ago. Frowning at the screen, I dragged my attention back to Mr. Crew’s latest bloodwork report.

“Dr. Carson?”

His voice was deep and nuanced, with just the faintest hint of the south woven into it. The eyes that rested on me were an almost shockingly bright green, framed by long, dark lashes. His nose was straight, his jaw strong and his lips were surprisingly full.

I realized that he was waiting for me to respond. Unfortunately, I was afraid I might have forgotten how to speak.

“Uh—”

“You are Dr. Carson, aren’t you? Our new naturopathic doctor?” He leaned his folded arms onto the counter in front of me, gazing down over the computer’s monitor.

I cleared my throat. “Yes. I’m Emma Carson.”

He chuckled softly. “That’s a relief. I’m pretty sure I know most of the people working on this floor, but I was taking a risk by assuming the person I didn’t recognize was the naturopath.” He extended his hand. “I’m Deacon Girard. I’m sorry I wasn’t on hand when you arrived.”

“No problem.” I slid my fingers into his, squeezing slightly. “I heard you were off saving the world while the rest of us were back here slogging away.”

The moment the words left my mouth, I knew they were wrong. I wanted to bite off my tongue.

Dr. Girard’s eyes took on a decided chill as he pulled his hand away. “I don’t know about saving the world. I was working with a group in South America—an organization that’s trying to eradicate childhood hunger. The doctor who’d been scheduled to work that tour was in a car accident, and they needed a last-minute substitute. If they’d been able to get anyone else, I wouldn’t have left. Going away two weeks after we opened this wing wasn’t exactly part of my plan.”

“I didn’t mean to—” I began, anxious to walk back my mistake, but Dr. Girard ignored me.

“I landed in Tampa a few hours ago and drove home. I planned to sleep all day today and come in here on Monday morning after I had the weekend to catch up, but then I read the messages from Mira. She said the new naturopath was trying to completely re-do Mrs. Spencer’s care plan. So instead of going to bed as I’d planned, I took a shower, got dressed and dragged my ass in here to make sure you weren’t screwing up all of my work.”

The embarrassment I’d been feeling morphed into indignation. “Hey, I’m not screwing up anything. I have no idea what Mira might have told you—” I gave her name special emphasis. “But I didn’t re-do anything. I just added my own recommendations and made some adjustments to her dietary plan.” I paused. “And we discussed some alternatives to some aspects of her treatment. Nothing that will affect the outcome.”

“And just how the hell can you be sure of that?” His jaw clenched. “You’ve been here for what . . . a week? And you think you know better than the doctor who’s been managing her illness for months?” He pointed a finger at me, like I was a child who’d misbehaved. “I’ve known Angela since she was diagnosed. She was referred to me by her primary care doctor, and I’ve been working with her out of the Calumbra Center until this wing opened. You had no right to make any changes without going through me.”

“Dr. Girard, with all due respect—”

He snorted and rolled his eyes, and I wanted nothing more than to haul off and clobber him. Instead, I pushed my chair back and rose to my feet, stiffening my spine and narrowing my eyes.

“It was my understanding when I took this position that my role would be as a full partner in the planning and implementation of treatment for the patients here. That’s how it usually works. I don’t know what your experience is with naturopathic doctors, but we don’t exist to do your scut work. We’re not window dressing to make your facility look like it’s forward thinking and innovative. I’m here to make sure the patients have every benefit of both worlds—of science and nature, of traditional medicine and natural remedies. That’s how this works.”

Dr. Girard’s eyes glittered with something akin to fury. “Dr. Carson, this is my hospital. My wing. My town. I’m the one who calls the shots. I’m the one who says how things work, and I’m here to tell you that the kind of partnership you envision is only possible if there is mutual respect. And that sort of respect begins with not making arbitrary decisions about care.” He smacked one palm flat onto the counter, making the two nurses who were staring at both of us jump. “This morning, I’ll be explaining to the Spencers that until such a time as I see the need for change, Angela’s chemo will proceed exactly as I originally prescribed. In the meantime, you will stay away from her unless I give you express permission to participate.”

I was so angry, so supremely pissed off that my head began to spin a little. Still, I held it together as I leaned forward and spoke in a tone my friends and enemies would’ve recognized as deadly.

“The hell I will. You may be the guy who made this wing possible, and you might be the big man on campus in this town. But you’re not my boss, Dr. Girard. You’d do well to keep that in mind before you go around issuing ultimatums and directives.” I eased back slightly and pasted an icy smile on my lips. “And until such a time as the board tells me otherwise, I’m going to keep on doing my job. So you can take all your bullshit superiority crap and shove it right up your fine ass.”

Preorder here! Coming July 21st

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