Birthday Gift

Yes, today is my birthday. January 9. I’ve seen a few; well, actually quite a few.

But let’s get away from that subject and on to something more meaningful: gifts. I love the holidays, giving and receiving gifts, trying to guess what would be appropriate for friends and family. But birthdays are a ‘gimme, gimme, it’s all about ME, ME, ME’ time of the year. Right? Of course.

“Oh, look, flowers. Aren’t they beautiful?” I adore flowers. My mother made my husband-to-be promise to send me flowers for every birthday, a tradition in my family. I’m not sure if it was a deal-breaker for the wedding if he said no, but no worries there. The main problem with flowers is that there’s only a few that will actually last longer than a few days this time of the year. [And I got a dozen roses in red, white, and yellow!!!]

“Wow. Jewelry. Perfect!” A gift never to be denied, I’ll admit. Shower me with jewels and silver. God, I’m such a girl.

“Clothes.” Well, to be honest, clothing has always been a normal birthday present for me. I wanted toys for Christmas, so it stood to reason that my wardrobe would be enhanced for my birthday. Another tradition that stands to this day.

“Cards and well-wishes through social media.” Sweet. I love to be remembered by my friends and family this way. It’s like the mailman knocking at my door a dozen times.

“Cake.” ‘Nuff said. Birthday without cake is like summer without the sun, a car without gas, an empty coffee cup. Horrors on all counts. Period.

“Dinner.” Of course, and at the restaurant of the special birthday person’s choice. Mine, Mine, Mine!!! This year, I can’t decide: steak or Italian? Decisions, decisions.

Then there’s that one gift, the surprise, the ultimate ‘gee, I would never have imagined this would happen on my birthday’ gift:  The trailer for Love Least Expected and all our names are mentioned in USA Today!!

I’m totally on cloud nine–on the ninth! My birthday wish to you, dear readers, is that you all experience a day like this many, many times in your lifetime.

I think I’ll have Italian. Yum.

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LLE Trailer

I’m excited to announce the Love Least Expected trailer on Vimeo and YouTube! Thanks to fellow anthology author Kris Calvert for all her hard work on this! Pre-order is available right now for 99 cents. Here’s the link:

Love Least Expected Trailer

An excerpt from my story, Alphabetical Disorder

She’d known Sam for years, thought about him, dreamed about him. Why had he never asked her out on a date?

She probably wasn’t his type.

Susie faced forward again. She couldn’t date Sam anyway. She wasn’t to S yet. She needed to find someone whose name began with … what was the next letter? Oh, yeah, J. Better yet, someone with a name using all the letters between J and R. Maybe there was someone out there with the name Quapolkman, Jr. Then she could skip all the way to S without breaking the rules. But that would defeat her purpose, wouldn’t it?

“Um, Sam, do you know anyone—a man—whose name begins with J?”

J.” A small frown creased his forehead. “Well, there’s Jason, over in the clown troupe. Then there’s Jonathan in the arcade. And Jarod—”

“Crap. I’m sorry, Sam.” Susie put her hand on his arm, turning him to face her. “I still can’t believe he’s dead. I mean, I know he was your friend, and—” She broke off, at a loss for words.

Sam looked away without speaking, but not before she saw grief and pain clouding his blue eyes from the recent suicide of the troupe’s Elephant Man. A muscle twitched as he clenched his jaw. She wanted to hug him.

So she did.

She put her arms around that handsome, perfect man and just held him. A moment later, his arms slid around her waist. They stood there for a few minutes, for an eternity, holding each other. His one hand slowly rubbed up and down her back. The other pulled her closer into his warmth. She lifted her head from his chest, and the next thing she knew, he kissed her.

Soft, sweet. A whisper of lips moving together, stroking over and over. Not one of those desperate kisses, with tongues and teeth clashing. Susie had never felt a kiss like Sam’s before. That feeling, brought on by the tenderness of his touch, fulfilled a yearning deep inside. She didn’t know if he noticed it or not. She became lost in the moment. Lost in him.

She lifted herself on her tiptoes, moved her arms up to surround his neck, caress his shoulders, pressing closer, wanting more. He never paused, just kept on melting her with those amazing kisses. Butterfly kisses. Angel kisses.

Minutes or hours later, Sam ended the kiss. Susie sighed as she opened her eyes and he smiled, his hands gliding down her arms, raising goose bumps.

“What were you saying about the letter J, love?”

A small explosion inside her brain, like the magical poof as the rabbit disappeared, brought her back to reality. “Crap. I have to go.” She pulled back and headed for the stables, annoyed for breaking the rules.

Disappointment winged through her, and she wished again that she fully understood what the prophecy and cards had told her. Then maybe she could give up this half-assed alphabetical curse and concentrate on the man she wanted.