Sunday, December 8, 2013

Leslie Garcia and Love, Loss and Kindness

Please welcome Leslie Garcia today...

Kind of Like a Hero

            When D’Ann kindly invited me to post a guest blog, and told me to do whatever I wanted, I knew almost immediately I didn’t just want to twist arms and try to sell Wildflower Redemption.  I’ll include an excerpt and blurb, and let it go at that, except in talking about literary kindness in passing.
            We’ve just passed Thanksgiving and are headed into Christmas.  Right before Thanksgiving, my only nephew, a Marine major, died when the plane he piloted crashed—on his way from North Carolina to Michigan for a fellow Marine’s plane.  He, obviously, is the kind of man heroes are made from—but more to the point, perhaps, was the outpouring of love and support that helped my sister cope with the loss of her only son.  Strangers who reached out, as they do so often during our separate lives, made a huge difference. 
            Aaron Estes, the hero in Wildflower Redemption, has to learn kindness towards animals—not because he’s indifferent or abusive, but because he simply doesn’t know anything about them.  I grew up with animals—including, incredibly, monkeys, snakes, an African lion and a jaguarondi—and while I knew nothing about caring for them, my siblings and I loved them.  We treated them kindly—in so far as ignorance allows kindness.
            In retrospect, the family, my whole family, deserves censure and scorn.  We kept the lion in a small, mesh cage that was not safe and didn’t meet any of his needs.  We tried to remember to let the milk snakes loose since we couldn’t get them to eat in captivity, but sometimes—we were too late in returning them to the pasture from whence they came.
            My sister and I were teenagers, and my other siblings much younger; we had no choice but to do what we were told.  We took the best care of the animals that we could, in times that didn’t frown on roadside amusement parks or kids who escaped the realities of a broken family by clinging to any critter that offered a moment’s salvation.
            We weren’t mean, but knowing now what I didn’t know—the fact that I loved those animals and would have kept them forever if I hadn’t been too young to stay behind when the family moved to Texas—makes me realize that sometimes, kindness is knowing enough not to be abusive.
            Now, I think of those on the right side of kindness—those who run shelters, who adopt animals, who share pictures of lost and homeless creatures—those are a special kind of hero, and they have both the privilege of knowing and loving animals with genuine passion, and the satisfaction that they do no harm, they only help.
            Many of D’Ann’s posts touch on kindness you find in many of her works. Her knowledge of horses (and Australian shepherds—don’t ask!) and the posts that she shares were part of the inspiration for this piece—when I think of her, I often think of her kindness first.  Sometimes her posts are not pleasant to deal with—I actually think I might have hidden one, once, because I couldn’t face it.
            But only when we learn about the horrors that exist, and the difference between coveting animals and loving them, caring about them and being kind to them, can we have clear consciences.
            The nephew I lost spent his childhood saving crows and other desert animals—but always turning them loose.  Since his mom used to keep a cage full of bats in our antebellum home, I dare say she learned from him what I have learned over the year—kindness is heroic.
            Anyone can be kind of like a hero.  It’s all just a matter of choice.

You can’t have it all. At least, not forever. Luz Wilkinson learned the hard way that balancing a career, marriage, and motherhood can end in absolute destruction of heart and soul. When the biological mother of her daughter tears the child away and ruins her reputation, Luz goes home to tiny Rose Creek to rethink life and ambition. She surrounds herself with discarded animals and plans never to care again.
Widower Aaron Estes lives for his daughter, Chloe. Fleeing from the horror of losing his wife in a school shooting, Aaron stops in Rose Creek on a whim and a random act of kindness from a gas station clerk - not a lot to build a life on, but a momentary redemption from his sorrow and fears for his daughter. Prompted by counselor Esmeralda Salinas, he takes Chloe to the Wilkinson place for therapeutic riding lessons, and finds Luz everything he wants in a mother for his daughter - but Esmeralda’s open pursuit is a problem. Burned by her divorce, Luz refuses any relationship involving another woman or a man with another woman’s child.
Unlimited love for their children comes easily - but will they ever be able to conquer past pain and love each other?
Sensuality Level: Behind Closed Doors

Luz headed after her. Aaron caught her before she got to the door. “Where are you going?” he demanded. “It’s late and it’s dark—”
“And something’s wrong!” she snapped. “Stay here with Chloe! I’m just checking for anything that might have set the dog off.” She bit back “again.” As she rushed outside, she couldn’t help wishing she’d had the dog on a leash— and her mother’s pistol in her hand.
She went around the side of the house, tripping once on a rock hidden in the shadow the house cast since the security light was on the other side. In the front yard, she stopped and peered out toward the road, where she could make out the shape of a dark car moving slowly along the fence line.
“What’s going on?” Aaron said from close by. “And don’t tell me to stay with Chloe, dammit! She’s asleep, and I’m not some panicked little kid afraid of the dark, even if it’s stupid to be out here—”
 Tires screeched and taillights glowed as the car suddenly accelerated and sped away.
Not Ross Thurmond’s truck. The thought surprised her. Worried her. How had his brief, strange, visits here unnerved her like this?And then sudden suspicion hit her. Hard.
“God, no.”  She thought she hadn’t spoken, but Aaron’s hand on her arm and the alarm in his face told her she had. “God, no, what?”
She thought of Chloe in bed asleep. Of Princess— where? At least she hadn’t heard yelping. But the pit bull hadn’t come back, either. Would Aaron leave when she told him? She really didn’t consider him a coward. He’d obviously gone through a lot without cracking. He just couldn’t bear to lose his precious daughter. She understood that. “What, Luz?”
She covered her face with her hands, and breathed a silent prayer that she was wrong. “I think,” she told him slowly, “that tomorrow we’ll find another dead dog.”

About Leslie
         Mention writing to most first grade students--or teachers--and everyone runs from the room, screaming or crying, respectively. I, however, love the challenge of convincing the technology kids of today that words create everything they use, everything they enjoy. Yes, even those horrible cartoons and video games that are so foreign to me now. And the songs.

         I, myself, was a published writer in first grade, first by the school principal, then by a novel but short-lived magazine written entirely by kids. I still remember the title: Kids. Paid me $1.50 for the last rhyming poem I ever wrote. "Dolphins are nice though they don't like ice" something something.

         Luckily, my poetry no longer rhymes, and my stories strive to portray the mishmash of cultures, events, characters, and times that are our lives--all our lives, even if not everyone had a lion or a roadside amusement park or hid in an arroyo on their wedding day.

         There's a circuitous route through most of our lives, and the publishing company that helped me learn to submit work for publication through their magazines and annual Writers Market, F&W Media, has published my three most recent works.

         A lifetime of words away from first grade, but hopefully, you'll enjoy my words. I love hearing from readers, and hope you'll visit me one of these days.

         Because words still have power, and always will.

Wildflower Redemption (Crimson Romance) by Leslie P. Garcia
Available at Barnes and Noble, Sony, iTunes and other distributors on Dec. 09th, 2013!

Also by Leslie P. García:

Website: Return to Rio

Social Media:
Twitter: @LesliePGarcia
Leslie P. García

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Cover Reveal: The Saint's Devilish Deal

A billionaire surfer… A down-on-her-luck hotelier… One hot summer fling…

Blurb: Esmerelda Quinn has been looking for a place to belong since her parents were killed in a car crash when she was young. The closest thing to home has always been Aunt Constance's villa in Puerto Vallarta, so after a string of dead-end hotellier jobs, she's coming home to run the villa.
Santiago Cruz has called the villa home for as long as he can remember. In between surfing events, Constance has always had a room for him. Color him surprised when Constance decides to retire - and leaves a joint interest in the villa to both Santiago and Esme.
Esme isn't thrilled to share ownership of the villa with the the youngest Cruz brother - especially when she learns Santiago's brother has been after the villa for years. But Santiago has grown up while she's been away at school and soon she finds herself falling for the rich boy down the hall.

“You forget yourself, Esmerelda. You’re talking about making this simple for the staff, that doesn’t mean I need to come to you for every new guest registration or idea I have. Besides, we need this campaign.” Santiago waved his hand. “We need more guests of a certain means to make the villa stand out. Families are great, but they won’t make Casa Constance a go-to destination. These people will. So, we use our new guests as features in a new campaign for the high-end travel magazines. A few shots in the tabloids wouldn’t hurt, either.”
            “You weren’t even going to discuss this with me?”
            “I’m telling you now. While we’re on the subject—” he tossed a few magazines from his desktop onto her lap “—what do you see in these pictures?”
            Esme sent him a killing glance and then flipped through the pages. “Boring. Bland. Not home.”
            “Exactly. This isn’t a home, or it shouldn’t be a home first. If you want Casa Constance to succeed you need to treat it like a business. So, make-over, what do you like?”
            She tossed the magazines back onto the desktop. “Our guests love the color and textures of Old Mexico. They say so all the time.”
            “Your guests haven’t been in residence, at least not actively, in more than a year. We aren’t appealing to anyone right now and we need to. So, makeover starts this afternoon and your new training begins in the morning.”
            “I know what I need to know about running a vacation resort.”
            “You need to experience a vacation to sell it. We need day-trips, we need amenities. I’ll bet you’ve never gone para-sailing or sky diving, much less enjoyed a couple’s massage.” Her cheeks pinked at the last suggestion and Santiago smiled. “Celebrities visiting Casa, playing on our private beach, being featured in an advertising campaign—with a few pictures leaked to the tabloids to get the word out even sooner. Casa needs this.”
            Esme took a few breaths and then settled back into her chair. “I can’t afford to pay the salary of a New York advertising crew. Seriously, Santiago, you have to cancel.”
            “My three months, remember? It won’t cost you a thing. The photographer owes me a favor. The only cost will be the campaign copy, which will be negligible. I do know what I’m doing, Esmerelda.”
            “Okay, mail.” Esme shook her head as if clearing thoughts of the upcoming ad campaign from her head. “Marquez usually separates bills from letters—”
            “As the mail will be delivered to the front desk, I’m happy to see to it. And let’s cut to the chase.” He leaned back in the chair and clasped his hands behind his head. “I don’t want to be tied down to a vacation villa for the rest of my life. But if you really want this, there is something you have to do for me. First.”
            Esme swallowed, crossed and re-crossed her legs before clasping her hands in her lap. “What do you want? A payoff? You’ve seen the books, you know there isn’t much money. But if it’s money you want, I’ll agree to your price. I just need time to come up with the capital.”
            She really didn’t know him at all. He shouldn’t be surprised, but he was. Surprised and a bit disappointed. “I need your money like I need another surfing championship,” he said, sitting up straight. “No, what I want from you is a bit more. . . ephemeral. I want your time. For three hours each day, you belong to me. No villa work. No guest handholding.” He walked around the desk to rest his hip against one corner. “No conferences with staff. No following the maids on their routine cleanings and no visits to the kitchen to give Gloriana instructions. For three hours each day, your time is my time.”
            “You can’t be serious. That. . . that’s just. . .” She trailed off when his index finger traced the line of her jaw. He lowered his voice.
            “No work. No phones. No villa. You do what I say, what I want.”

Author Bio/Links:
Once upon a time, Kristina Knight spent her days running from car crash to fire to meetings with local police—no, she wasn't a troublemaker, she was a journalist. When the opportunity to focus a bit of energy on the stories in her head, she jumped at it. And she’s never looked back. Now she writes magazine articles by day and romance novels with spice by night. She lives on Lake Erie with her husband and daughter. Happily ever after.

Kristina's Links:
TW: @AuthorKristina

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Cover Reveal~ The Brides of Black Mountain

Releasing Soon!

All Shiloh Jamieson wants is a chance to make it in the country music business. Unfortunately, her mother—a bitter failure in the biz—stands in Shiloh’s way. So does Shiloh’s own fear of what she might have to do to succeed—sleeping her way around Nashville—is not an option.

Country music superstar Dillon Travers left Nashville’s bright lights and fame for Black Mountain, Colorado, craving peace, solitude and to run his rescue horse ranch. His wife’s death has left him disillusioned with the career he once loved.

Can a sassy newcomer and a jaded veteran each find their way together when one desperately wants what the other needs to forget?


Starla Jamieson owns a successful bar, and it’s enough for her. She’s never wanted a child of her own because between helping raise her younger brothers and a dozen half-sisters, Starla’s parented plenty. To avoid the motherhood trap, she walked away from the only man she ever wanted. But nobody else has ever been able to fill Trevor Lee’s boots.

Trevor Lee has never forgiven Starla for the lie she told him. He’s also never stopped loving her. His head tells him she’s not the right woman for him because he wants a traditional family… and that’s just not Starla. But his heart can’t forget her.

When the unexpected consequences of a night of passion forces them to examine their past, they have to decide whether to forgive and forget …or to let love slip away again.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Love and Other Games


Title: Love and Other Games (Collection)
Melinda Dozier, Ana Blaze, Aria Kane, Kara Leigh Miller
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Publication Date: October 1, 2013
Format: eBook

Love and Other Games Book Blurbs:

LOVE AND OTHER GAMES is a collection of four sexy new adult stories centered around athletes competing in the Winter Games by Ana Blaze, Melinda Dozier, Aria Kane, and  Kara Leigh Miller.

Worth More Than Gold by Ana Blaze

Amy Pierce, the klutzy sister and manager of America’s Skating Sweetheart, is used to being invisible. But when a friend drags her to a party near the Olympic Village, Amy catches the eye of a sexy Norwegian ski jumper. It’s a magical night, but an awkward next morning has her running. Everyone knows Erik Andresen’s best shot at an individual medal was back in 2010, before an injury pulled him from the competition. He’s there for his team, but a hot night and a remarkable final training session have him wondering if a gorgeous good-luck charm could give him another chance at the podium. With a little bit of luck, these two might have a shot at something worth more than gold.

Trouble With Gold by Melinda Dozier

US snowboarder and notorious prankster, Ty (Trouble) Madsen is only getting a taste of his own medicine when his Olympic teammates shackle him to a fence wearing nothing but his boxers.  Reception and protocol volunteer, Nadia Hoffman, gets up close and personal with the sexy snowboarder to rescue him, but she's not the kind of girl who lets her hormones get in her way.  A professional performance could help her land her dream job at Olympics Committee Headquarters, but her new assignment supervising the rambunctious US Snowboarding Team is making that difficult.  Can she see behind the snowman in the community center bathroom and into the warm heart of the man everyone calls Trouble?

The Girl Behind the Gold by Aria Kane

Greek aerial skier Lia Milonas’s parents are about to lose the family farm. Saving it means medaling and landing a huge sponsor. While her no-nonsense attitude has her well on her way to a medal, it hasn’t won her a place in fans' hearts. “Come back with a story that will make readers cry, or don’t come back.” This is what Brandon James’ boss told him before he left New York to cover the Winter Games for Moment Magazine. With a wink and a smile, he can charm his way into any invite-only party, but that career-making story is nowhere to be found – until he meets Lia. The two strike a deal that should get them both what they want - but neither would have guessed they’d also find what they need. 

Ice Gold by Kara Leigh Miller

Colton Campbell thrives on the fast paced, adrenaline rushed lifestyle of being an Olympic hockey player. Despite Brenna Jessup's abhorrence for the games and the athletes, she's hand-picked as the official photographer for the U.S. Olympic Hockey Team. When a faux pas by Brenna almost costs Colton his career, she owes him. Too bad for her, Colton doesn't want apologies -- he wants retribution! And he knows just how to get it -- and her -- in the process.

Social Media

Melinda Dozer on Twitter:

Aria Kane on Twitter:

Kara Leigh Miller on Twitter:
Swoon Romance (publisher) site:

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Welcome to Jenna Jaxon!

Help me welcome Jenna Jaxon to the blog today! She has a special giveaway! ANYONE who comment and leaves an email address will receive an e-copy of her book, Betrothal!
The Scandals of the 18th Century
One of the reasons I decided to set my House of Pleasure series, of which Only Scandal Will Do is the first book, in the 18th century instead of the more popular Regency period, was the reputation of the period for being much wilder, more dangerous, more colorful.  I’d been introduced to the Georgian period--named for the three Hanoverian kings who reigned throughout the century--in Jo Beverley’s Malloren series and fell in love with the colorful lifestyle that seems to alternate between the Age of Reason and the Age of Rowdy.
I love the fact that aristocratic men during this period wore bold colors, powdered wigs, and face paint (in some instances), yet beneath the surface were deadly competitors skilled with sword and pistol, had voracious appetites where women were concerned, and could converse on a myriad of topics that would leave us scratching our heads today.  This is the stuff of which heroes are made.
But men don’t always act like heroes.
Shameful behavior dominated the 18th century.  Some I managed to include in Only Scandal Will Do: the death of the Earl of Ferrers--the last peer to be hanged for murder; the erotic art of Françoise Boucher; and Harris’s List of Prostitutes.
A couple of major scandals also made headlines. 
Lady Worsley, a notorious woman who reputedly took 27 lovers, was accused by her husband of spending the night in a hotel with George Maurice Bisset, a captain attached to the Isle of Wight militia.  The exact charge was “criminal conversation.”  When charged, Bisset’s story was that Lord Worsley, the Governor of the Isle of Wight, knew about the affair and even encouraged it!  The trial transcript suggests that in one instance Lord Worsley assisted Bisset in watching Lady Worsley take a bath by letting him standing on his shoulders.  This testimony drew forth cartoons depicting the act that inflamed the scandal.  After the trial the Worsleys separated.
The other scandal concerned Sir Paul Joddrell, assigned to the prestigious post of physician to the Nawab of Arcot in Madras. Soon after arriving, however, Joddrell was rumored to have conducted a ménage a trois with his wife and another woman, a Mrs. Cummings.  The scandal ended up ruining Joddrell’s reputation; he and his wife were ostracized by Madras society, his pay from the Nawab was withheld, and he died destitute in Madras.
With all this wild behavior going on, I figured Duncan would fit right in.  Only Scandal Will Do is a novel that takes the wicked behavior of the era and turns it into true romance.  I do hope you “Enjoy the Scandal!”

AG: He has the woman of his dreams, but what price will he have to pay to win her heart?
Kidnapped and sold at auction in a London brothel, Lady Katarina Fitzwilliam squelches an undeniable attraction to the masked stranger who purchased her, pits her wits against him, and escapes him and the scandal that would ruin her life.
Unable to resist temptation in a London brothel, Duncan Ferrers, Marquess of Dalbury, purchases a fiery beauty. She claims she's a lady, but how can she be? No lady of his acquaintance in polite society is anything like her. Then he discovers she is who she says, and that this latest romp has compromised her reputation. He knows how that is. One more scandal and he'll be cast out of London society, but he needs a wife who'll provide an heir to carry on his illustrious family's name. He seeks out Katarina, intending only to scotch the scandal, but instead finds his heart ensnared. He's betting their future he'll capture her heart, but does he have what it
takes to win the wager?
WARNING: A blade-wielding heroine who crosses swords with a master of sensuality.

Excerpt for Only Scandal Will Do:
“Lady Katarina,” the marquess said, taking her limp, cold hand. “I have been looking forward to this moment ever since I heard you were in London.”
That voice sent shivers down her spine. She remembered well the arrogance in it when he’d declared himself her master. Soft and silky now, his mouth poised over her hand, and the words sent searing heat that penetrated her long kidskin gloves. Only sheer determination kept her from snatching it out of his grasp, and fear at what might be said if she acted in any way as though she had met this man before. No one must know.
She made herself look at his face, into the dark brown eyes that gleamed with…apprehension? Amusement? Katarina twitched her mouth into what hopefully passed for a smile and said, “I am delighted to make your acquaintance as well, Lord Dalbury. Although I must confess that until just now I had not heard your name.” Although pleased to hear how strong her voice sounded, she feared she might choke on the lies she spouted. Kat slipped her hand from his and a measure of calm returned.
Jack was deep in his conversation with Lord Braeton, completely unconcerned about her. She tried to refrain from looking at the marquess, but he demanded her attention by addressing her again.
“I almost missed the pleasure of making your acquaintance, Lady Katarina. I left the ball just before midnight, but one of my carriage horses came up lame and I returned to ask Braeton for the loan of a replacement. Lady Luck surely smiled on me tonight.” His wide smile seemed genuine, his voice tinged with a hint of relief.
She sighed. Her last night in England and Lady Luck had to favor this fellow.
He continued on, disregarding her silence. “I understand from Lord Braeton that you and your brother only arrived from the colonies three months ago, Lady Katarina.”
She found it hard to keep her tone civil. “Yes, my lord. We came to England in early February.” As she had told him before! It helped not to look at his eyes. Instead she fastened her gaze on his cheek. He would likely carry those scars the rest of his life. She hoped it hurt his vanity every time he looked in the mirror.
He apparently saw where her gaze lay, for he ran his finger down the center mark. “Ah, I see you are curious about my wounds.” He shifted his weight slightly, drawing her a little away from the others.
“Is it a war wound, my lord?” she asked, feeling the return of her confidence.
“It is a badge of honor I wear, given to me by a worthy opponent who I underestimated in many ways. I now regret the chance encounter, Lady Katarina.” He lowered his voice. “She did not deserve the treatment she had at my hands. I make my most sincere apology for doubting her words to me.”
Kat stiffened at this offering. How could he stand there and try to apologize so cavalierly in a crowded ballroom? “Whoever she is, then, Lord Dalbury,” she said sweetly, “I hope your opponent is more forgiving than I would be.”
Author Links:
Twitter:  @Jenna_Jaxon
Buy Links:
Jenna Jaxon is a multi-published author of historical and contemporary romance.  Her historical romance, Only Scandal Will Do, the first in a series of five interconnecting novels, was released in July 2012. Her contemporary works include Hog Wild, Almost Perfect, and 7 Days of Seduction.  She is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America as well as a member of Chesapeake Romance Writers. Her medieval romance, Time Enough to Love, is being published this year as a series of three novellas.  The first book, Betrothal, released on April 19th.
Jenna has been reading and writing historical romance since she was a teenager.  A romantic herself, she has always loved a dark side to the genre, a twist, suspense, a surprise.  She tries to incorporate all of these elements into her own stories. She lives in Virginia with her family and a small menagerie of pets.  When not reading or writing, she indulges her passion for the theatre, working with local theatres as a director.  She often feels she is directing her characters on their own private stage. 
She has equated her writing to an addiction to chocolate because once she starts she just can’t stop.



Monday, October 7, 2013

Cover Reveal: Pleasing the Pirate

Cover reveal for Pleasing the Pirate by Sharon Cullen
Release Date: February 25, 2014 (preorders available now)
Two hearts are wrenched between love and duty in Sharon Cullen’s tale of a ruthless pirate and the Scottish lass who fills him with desire for something greater than plunder.


With her clan’s crops burned and their property confiscated, Mairi McFadden is desperate to free her brother from imprisonment so that he can take his rightful place as chief. Her only hope is the fierce English pirate Phin Lockwood, but the buccaneer laughs at her meager funds. His roving eyes, however, tell Mairi there’s something else he’ll take in exchange for her brother’s rescue. Though she burns with hatred for the English, she’ll do anything to save her clan.


The crown has made it clear that Phin has two choices: bring in a certain Scottish traitor or hang. And he’s not about to let a tiny, whiskey-eyed woman get in his way, even if she is pointing a gun at him. When Phin learns that Mairi’s brother is the very man he seeks, he’s more than willing to use the lass as bait. But as the moment of capture draws near, Phin is surprised by his feelings for the courageous beauty who has him considering risking his life—for someone besides himself.



Buy Links:





Sharon Cullen is the author of the historical romance, The Notorious Lady Anne (on sale now), Loving the Earl (available November 2013) and Pleasing the Pirate (available February, 2014). She’s also published in romantic suspense, paranormal romance and contemporary romance.
Her other job descriptions include chauffer, laundress, cook and mediator to her three very busy kids, her husband and two dogs. She lives in southwest Ohio with her brood although her dream is to someday retire to St. Maarten and live on the beach.
If you’d like to find out more about Sharon and her books, you can visit her website. She’s addicted to social networking so you can find her on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. Friend her! Like her! Follow her! She’d love to hang out with you and talk about her passion—books.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Liza O'Connor unveils Oh Stupid Heart



Today we learn why I didn’t write Trent a bit nicer.


I’m really good at training dogs.

Jess knows over thirty commands.

She’ll even leave a chicken treat alone after she’s had the chance to taste it. That’s really hard for a dog to do.


Don’t worry, I let her have the treat.


I’ve tried turning real guys into romantic heroes, but honestly, it’s never worked for me. They resist being trained. Nor do they like chicken jerky treats when they perform well.


 So after several disturbing and heartbreaking events, I decided to write a book where the guy was subpar, like the ones I’ve had to deal with. Otherwise, how can I teach useful life lessons.



Just because a guy says he loves you doesn’t make him Mr. Right.

To be fair, Trent’s not a psychopath and he never tries to kill Carrie. In fact, he saves her life in Worst Week Ever, so he’s far better than my ex who tried to kill me three times before I caught on. (The first two times I just thought he lacked safety sense.)

I tend to be a forgiving and tolerant person, ignoring when the guy flirts with another woman. And I’ll try very hard not to notice if he’s flat out cheating on me, but I have to draw the line when someone wants to kill me.

Most guys are just being guys, hound dogs if you will. Mother Nature tells them to procreate and be happy, and I failed to train mine to ignore Mother Nature and Leave it!

Here’s a professional trainer discussing the matter.


As the expert states, Humping is a natural inclination of males, but you should be able to train them to ‘leave it’.

Now back to my misbehaving males…

I truly believe their bad behaviors were not done to hurt my feelings. For example, when Jerk tried to kill me, he wasn’t mad at me. He just wanted my life insurance policy and that required me to be….you know…dead. I’m pretty sure he would have cried at my funeral, and then consoled himself by sleeping with a pretty blonde.

Later, when I upgraded. My soul-mate told me he’d found someone else that he might prefer over me, but he wasn’t sure, so he wanted me to stick around while he decided. Again, he wasn’t mad at me, he merely thought only of himself and his feelings.


Had I written the script for my soul-mate, he would have waited until he decided which of us he wanted and THEN let me know ONLY if he needed to vacate the bed. Otherwise, I could remain blissfully ignorant of the whole drama.

Unfortunately, that would have been inconvenient for him, so he let me know at once, allowing him to spend more time with Option 2.

I always thought these two guys were opposite ends of the spectrum: Psychopath and Nice Sane Guy, but upon writing this series, I realized they had one thing in common: both were incredibly self-absorbed and ego-centric, which meant neither had the ability to truly love anyone other than themselves.

I gave them up, but even that was a process. I had to come to reason first. That’s where the heart says



So my brain eventually took over and in both cases was appalled at the nonsense going on. Man, did my heart get a scolding!

Which I felt was a bit unfair.

If all you’ve known are crappy relationships, bad parents who hate each other, and abusive brothers, then you develop a tall ceiling of tolerance for bad boyfriends.

And we can only evaluate our future dates based on our prior ones. A jerk can look pretty good compared to an psychotic jerk.

So don’t judge Carrie too harshly. She’s in a real relationship with a different species of human. Based on her father who thinks her a blight to the family name and her one boyfriend in college who only had sex with her because his true love was far away and she was a great study partner (as she did all the work), Trent truly is the best guy she’s ever loved.

Are there other guys in her realm of existence who would be better for her? Absolutely.

Are there some who would be worse?

Oh Yeah!

But none of that matters right now, because she is committed to Trent, the first guy who has ever said he loves her.

In Carrie’s perspective, she’s not settling. She’s helping Trent to reach his potential of becoming a fabulous guy.

And is Trent trainable?

Not in the opinion of the 100+ women before Carrie, but none of them had her determination, resilience, and forgiving nature.

And who is to say she’s wrong to try and fix Trent?

Honestly, if we held out for the perfect relationship, the human race would be extinct and I could have never written this story.

Fortunately, it’s not about who WE can endure, but who Carrie can make a life with. However, at some point, her brain and heart will need to align as to whether Trent is Mr. Right for her.

What do you think? Can they make a go of it, or is this a train wreck looking to happen?

(Hint: Reading Oh Stupid Heart will help you decide)

Oh Stupid Heart

Book Two of: A Long Road To Love

Humorous Contemporary Disaster Romance


Liza O’Connor



Carrie Hanson is in love with a different species: Trent, a pampered, uber-rich socialite who’s also her boss. Everyone keeps telling her it’s a train wreck looking to happen, but her heart wants what it wants. So despite the billion and one reasons not to, Carrie commits to this inter-species relationship. But while she's off being trained for her new job responsibilities, a beautiful ex fiancée is working hard to get Trent back and Carrie fired.




Carrie Hanson couldn’t believe it. Her four year sex-drought was about to end. She shivered in anticipation until a sinking dread over came her. Oh God, what if I’ve forgotten what to do?

Please God, let this be like riding a bike.

Trent pulled back from their kiss and studied her, his brow furrowed. “Are you cold?” He reached across her bed and tugged the edge of the comforter over her, tucking the fabric beneath her body so she became a human corndog.

She wiggled out of captivity and scooted across the bed, closer to him. “I’m fine. I’m just happy our horrible week is over and we can start anew. This time not as boss and an employee, but best friends who love each other.

Trent pulled her to his chest and kissed her. She opened her mouth to his and met his tongue with her own, determined to give as good as she got. His soft groan inspired her to do more.

She unbuttoned the waistband of his suit pants and slipped her hand beneath his boxers, determined to move matters along and end her drought forever. He broke their kiss and his hands captured hers.

He didn’t want her?

She turned away, mortified with shame…and confused. Why the hell had he kissed so provocatively if he didn’t want to make love to her? She tucked her head, so he wouldn’t read all the emotions bouncing about her confused head right now, but he forced her chin upward, his dark eyes somber and concerned.

“Carrie, I have screwed up every relationship I’ve ever been in. I think part of the problem is I gravitated to glamour girls with no brain and no personality, but I would have realized that if I had just taken a moment to talk to them first.”

This was the stupidest excuse she’d ever heard. “We’ve known each other for two years, in which time I’ve certainly established I’m not a glamour girl.”

He chuckled and nodded.

Her eyes narrowed and a low growl emitted from her chest. “You don’t have to be so quick to agree.”

“But you aren’t. You’re not an image of beauty, you’re the real thing. While I have no complaints about your small, but perfect body, silky long brown hair, and gorgeous green eyes, your real beauty comes from inside. When you smile I feel like I’m standing before an angel of joy.”

Now she saw where his thoughts headed. He didn’t want to make love to an angel. She recalled Elvis Presley did something this crazy. He refused to touch his wife after she bore him a child because he couldn’t make love to a mother.

She pulled her hand from his and gripped his shirt as she stared sternly into his eyes. “Do not go Elvis Presley on me. I am not an angel. I’m a small, catastrophe-prone woman who wants to make love to you.”


A Long Road to Love

Book Two

Oh Stupid Heart


To Follow the 2nd Craziest Blog Tour


Oh Stupid Heart


Book One

Worst Week Ever



Liza O’Connor

Author Bio:


Liza lives in Denville, NJ with her dog Jess. They hike in fabulous woods every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Having an adventurous nature, she learned to fly small cessnas in NJ, hang-glide in New Zealand, kayak in Pennsylvania, ski in New York, scuba dive with great white sharks in Australia, dig up dinosaur bones in Montana, sky dive in Indiana, and raft a class four river in Tasmania. She’s an avid gardener, amateur photographer, and dabbler in watercolors and graphic arts. Yet through her entire life, her first love has and always will be writing novels. She loves to create interesting characters, set them loose, and scribe what happens.








Other Books by Liza O’Connor

Coming Soon:


Ghost Lover

Coming To Reason

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