Friday, September 26, 2014

Sneak Peek week

A SMOKY MOUNTAIN WEDDING, (Book Two) of the Smoky Mountain series.

Since the cover isn't ready yet, I've chosen a temporary image.





There is love and pride among the Southern Souls who live in and around The Great Smoky Mountains. They’ve always held a special place in my heart.

 



As I bring Tina and Hank’s second book to life, and within their story, I’ve tried to convey the breathtaking beauty that lies in the heart, the people and surrounding areas of the Smoky Mountains. The air is sweet and crisp, clouds hover low, while lush green mountains rise to meet them. In the Spring, nothing compares to its beauty, including abundant wild flowers and rushing waters to dangle your toes for a spell. During Winter, the mountains are enveloped in snow, rendering the rolling hills a spectacular panorama.
 

Please enjoy the first chapter of A SMOKY MOUNTAIN WEDDING, (Book Two) while I'm finishing the continuation of Tina and Hank's story.

Please click on my contact page and let me know how you feel about Chapter One.

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Thanks!

 And without further ado...here we go!


A Smoky Mountain Wedding (Book Two) In A Smoky Mountain series

Chapter One

Now I’ve gone and done it.

Reservations at where she’d ditched her brain rolled inside her head. “Not only have I committed to a man I barely know, but a child neither Hank nor myself, know barely more than a stranger.”

“Headstrong isn’t always an enduring quality,” Rae said. “Admit it. You lead with your heart instead of your head.”

Once Hank and Evan boarded the helicopter, its rotors swirled a dusting of snow around the clearing as it ascended, then banked left toward Hank’s Smoky Mountain cabin.

From the open door of her sister, Rae’s, mountain home, Tina sucked in a breath and watched the two special guys in her life disappear into the night.

“That’s ridiculous.” Their opinion of each other reared its ugly head. Tina slanted her head. “And you are forever nosey. Because you’re my sister, I’ll overlook that nasty comment.”

Rae stood beside her and delivered a familiar eye-roll. “Hey,” she held up her hands, palm side out. “I didn’t bring it up.”

“Bring what up?” Tina’s mom rounded the corner with a tray of coffee and tea biscuits. “What’s going on in here? Are you two at it again?”

Tension dangled between Tina and her sister. “Okay. Let’s drop it,” Tina said.

“Drop what?” her mom asked.

“It’s nothing, Mom. I simply made a comment and as usual...Rae’s sarcasm took over.”

“I don’t know why I can never get a straight answer from either of you.” Her mom heaved a sigh. “Why can’t you girls get along? Is that too much to ask?”

“You must admit it’s a little bizarre to agree to marry a man you’ve known less than a week.” Rae looked over her glasses and aimed her chin toward her chest. “Plus, take on a child...a strange child.”

“Leave Evan out of this. You know nothing about him.” As Tina jerked her head around, her heart quickened. “I’d like to think you were here for me no matter what I choose. Since that isn’t the case…”

“With a prisoner for a father,” Rae muttered.

“You never change, do you?” Tina exhaled. “I should’ve known encouragement is too much to expect. You know nothing about Hank or Evan.” And you don’t know me as well as you think either.

“What do you really know about either of them?”

Tina pushed back a wisp of blond hair from her forehead and glared at Rae through her hazel eyes. “For the record, Evan is young, only seven, and extremely bright. Not strange. He has no one else. We’re it. He’s already bonded with us and I won’t leave him to fend for himself. You don’t understand how scared and alone he feels…but you should.”

“As far as encouragement goes? Not a chance. I think you’ve lost your mind. I’d be lying if I said I approved of this crazy stunt you’re about to pull.”

“Stunt? Stunt?” Tina jumped up, stood over Rae and whispered. “One more nasty crack out of you and I’ll—”

With both arms on the table Rae rose and, with her legs, pushed back her chair. “You’ll what?”

Tina’s mom moved between the two, tea pot in hand. “Okay. That’s enough. If you insist on harassing one another, do it outside.” She sat the pot down and glared at them. “You know what? I’m worn out from years of breaking you two apart. Do whatever you want, but don’t come sniffling to me if one of you gets hurt.”

With mouths wide open, both Tina and Rae gawked at their mom.

“Mom,” Rae whined.

“Aren’t you a bit old to whine?” her mom asked.

Tina’s eyes flickered while a smile crept over her face as she faced her mom. How many times had she wanted to put Rae in her place? “Thanks, Mom. Those words are spot on what I’ve wanted to hear all my life.”

Thinking back, Tina envisioned Rae while she threw routine tantrums. Thanks to her dad, Rae had been spoiled and hadn’t gotten over having her own way about most everything, even now. After a while it was easier to give in. But now, she wasn’t a child and Tina refused to repeat the process she’d disliked all her life.

“You’re such a faultfinder—a little past your prime for kid’s games.” She edged toward Rae and pointed at the door. “As long as we’re playing games...Outside.”

“Don’t even think of it.” Rae crossed her arms and narrowed her eyes. “What’s come over you? You’ve become overbearing since you’ve met Hank.”

“You’re begging me to take Mom up on her suggestion.” Tina grinned and stretched an arm toward the door. “Don’t assume I won’t think twice about going a round or two with you.”

“Of course she didn’t mean it.” Rae slid a nervous glance at her Mom. “Did you?”

“I wouldn’t go as far as to say I didn’t mean what I said. No comment on the subject. Work it out.”

Rae folded her arms again and set her jaw. “Then I’m not going anywhere.”

“Why doesn’t that surprise me?” Tina laughed. “Something ought to be done about your sassy mouth, but getting even isn’t my idea of fun or the way to remedy family issues.” She bit down her bottom lip, then rolled her eyes. “Even with you.”

“You two are no longer young girls.” Tina’s mom tapped the table with a French manicured fingernail. “We’re family. Please sit down. See if you can act your age.” While she waited for them to sit, she poured three cups of steaming green tea, placed an orange-cranberry scone on a plate and laid a napkin beside. She turned to Tina. “Now, sweetheart, tell me about Hank. This man you’re so taken with.”

“Mom...” With Hank she’d spent the most unbelievable week ever. Even through all the havoc. He was real. He was honest. He was loving. He had a kind nature and to top all that, he had gorgeous robin’s-egg blue eyes. She wasn’t about to give him up, no matter what her sister thought or said. He was the best thing that ever happened to her. Period.

“Your future is important. It would be generous of you if would share what kind of man has stolen my daughter’s heart. Now is as good a time as ever to discuss your young man.”

My young man.

Tina sat at the long wooden table, a lump in her throat. As she thought of her dad and how much her mom must grieve for him, that old still-missing him, dull ache crawled inside her stomach. She got up and pushed back the curtain with a thumb, and gazed through the window at the snowfall, which was nothing more than a light spit now. Visions of her dad on a sled with herself and Rae, throwing snowballs, building a snowman, brought back happy memories no matter how tough it was to reminisce.

Perhaps Rae didn’t deserve to know her heart’s desire, but she was her sister and she loved her. No matter what. She glanced at Rae, examined the look on her face, and found nothing but that old familiar sulk. Would Rae wait to trip her up? Maybe. But then, Rae was spoiled. Would she jump again at the least slip-up? Maybe. Tina sat back down, sipped at the tea, curled her feet under her, and then decided to have another go at trusting her sister. Good or bad decision, she was going for it. Like her mom said, there was no time like the present to spill her insides.

“After Jerry and the inexcusable experience with him, of which you both are aware, I had zilch intentions of becoming involved with anyone for a long, long time. Fate or God played a hand at the chance meeting with Hank.” Tina winked at her mom. “Okay, let me rephrase that. I don’t believe it was unintended. I believe God brought us together.”

Rae sniffed and rolled her eyes again “Less than a week is not enough time to be with someone, and then plan a life together, however you slice it.”

“Look, it isn’t as though we’ll tie the knot tomorrow.” Tina’s eyes squinted as her nose scrunched. “You can be acquainted with someone forever and still not know them.”

“Good heavens, you have no idea what this man is like. Give it more time,” Rae said. “Time to discover if you have enough in common, time before you make a lifelong commitment. Time to see if you’ll get along.” Rae held up a hand, examined her fingernails, then focused on Tina’s face. “Who knows, you may actually hate each other.”

“You weren’t there, Rae. Hank’s a good man. I believe that. I feel it in my bones. You didn’t see how gentle he was with Hatchet when she delivered her foal. With Sam, his dog.” A soft smile spread across Tina’s face. “The topper is how completely and trusting Evan took to him. His natural fatherly instincts practically floored me.”

“But is that enough for marriage? For a lifetime?” Rae let down her guard and softened toward Tina. “I’m sure you won’t believe it, but I do have your best interest at heart. I only want you to be happy.”

“Since when?” Tina turned and recalled Rae’s jubilant expression on her own wedding day. “Who’s to say I wouldn’t be as happy as you are?” she asked over a shoulder.

“Who’s to say you will? Couldn’t you have waited before you said yes? Can’t you wait? Wait until several months pass?” Rae asked. “Time can bring out the best or worst in a relationship.”

“What would you have me do, Rae? Flip a coin?. Hank’s a special guy, one of those guys you meet once in a lifetime. I believe that. You know what? I’m done here. I shouldn’t have to explain myself to you. To anyone.”

Her mom hadn’t said one word while she and Rae passed remarks back and forth. “Mom, you’re awfully quiet,” Tina said.

“Honey, I’ve always taught you to listen to your heart. Happiness is the only thing in this world I wish for both you and Rae. If Hank makes you happy, then I’m the last person to discourage you. It’s your life. You’re a grown woman If Hank is who you choose, then it’s certainly not up to me to interfere.” She nodded at Rae and patted her shoulder. “Nor is it Rae’s.”

Tina noticed Rae, however, had chosen to cross her arms and clam-up, rather than ramble on about whatever comeback was on her mind.

Tina’s mom took her hand in hers and with tears in her eyes, spoke soft and low. “I’ll always be here for you. You know that. You’re my child, my heart. But if he ever hurts you...I wouldn’t be much of a mother if I weren’t concerned about your happiness or who you choose to spend the rest of your life with.” Tina’s mom laid a hand on her arm. “I haven’t heard you mention once that you love Hank,” she whispered. “Beginning a marriage without love is asking for trouble. Especially with the addition of a child.”

“Falling in love wasn’t in my plans, Mom. It simply happened.” 




Friday, August 29, 2014

Things Happen - Things Go Wrong

Weird stuff seems to happen when we’re pushed for time.
Monday, August 18, I got up on the run. Left the house at 7:45 and didn’t return until 3:30. Well, except to trade vehicles, which I’ll go into in a few minutes.
Bear with me.
I arrived at Nissan’s dealership around 8:15. Traffic had backed up for a couple of miles, but miraculously moved quickly. By 9:30, my car’s oil and filter was changed and tires rotated. I had a coupon and August, 18 was the expiration date. I didn’t want to miss the great discount.
So far so good.
After a twenty mile drive toward home to have the car inspected, I was almost done with the day. The wait for the inspection was about fifteen minutes, but in the heat felt longer. Finally the attendant completed the inspection and once again I’m back on the road.
Great!
Time to return home, drive the truck in for the same work as the car, then tags could be purchased and I’d be finished with that boring chore.
Oops! I’d forgotten my laptop battery needed replacing, and had brought it with me. I had called a dealer a few days prior to order, but the employee said I should come in because he couldn’t get their computer system to work. Really? Okay. I really didn’t have the time, but I could do that.
So…I turned around and drove fifteen miles to the dealer to order the much needed battery. Once there, I was told the order would not be shipped until around the 28th of the month. Not wanting to wait that long, I remembered another outlet that was quick and usually had all batteries in stock.
My computer is four years old, so they didn’t have the battery in stock. The lady who waited on me was extremely helpful and had the battery on order in a matter of minutes. The battery would arrive UPS next day air with only a $2.00 shipping fee. I found that amazing and completely delighted to say the least.
The day’s events began to take on a positive note. Yay!
Now back to the house to drop off the car and pick up the truck for oil change, tire rotation and inspection.
Things happen. Things go wrong. Such is life and its many lessons. So goes my lesson in jumping the gun.
After an attendant’s promise to get me out of the dealership within an hour, an hour and forty-five minutes later, the truck’s oil change and tire rotation was complete.
My nerves were beginning to wear thin. It was now twelve-thirty. I still had  a thirty minute drive for the truck’s inspection, visit Mom at the nursing home for a couple of hours, go by the grocery and prepare dinner and go to a funeral home for visitaion.
Such is life.
Two miles from the inspection center, I heard this loud hummmmm. I glanced over at the  truck beside me and thought the sound came from it. After braking a few times in the traffic, I realized the sound came from my truck. By the time I’d arrived at the inspection center, the sound had stopped. Strange, I thought. Thankfully there was only one car in front of me, so the inspection was a speedy one. Relief.
I shot through the grocery store in record time. That chore done, I was on the way home. The day was harried, but now I could relax knowing the rest of the day was manageable.
Wrong.
Smoke
Smoke
I pulled into the driveway and opened the truck door. This putrid smell hit me right in the face. I popped the hood to see if during the oil change, there was oil that could have spilled onto something and caused the horrible, strong, rubber-burning scent. My first thought of blaming someone else. I didn’t have time to check under the hood. White smoke poured from under the truck, near the left rear tire. I jumped as though I’d been shot. My first thought was the truck was going to catch fire.
My heart pounded.
The car was a few feet away, then the house. My imagination worked overtime. In my mind’s eye, I saw a huge explosion, taking everything including the house.
The smoke dissipated. Whew.
But no. The smoke started back up with a vengeance.
After having had work done on a number of vehicles before, we’ve had strange items left under the hood. So, there I go again, thinking something could have been left under the car that caused the problem. In a matter of five minutes the smoke finally ended.
My first thought was something had indeed been handled wrong at the dealership. So, with the day’s previous events, I called hubby and we decided not to chance a long drive back to the dealer, but to take the truck to a shop a mile from the house.
With a funeral to attend at 1:00 the next day, I didn’t have time for this nonsense. But, my neighbor was gracious enough to follow me to the shop and bring me back home.
Who knew? The calipers had stuck and caused the brakes to lock up. Both back rear brakes needed replacement. New calipers, rotors, pads and few hundred dollars later, the truck was now back to normal and I wasn’t afraid to drive it again.
DSC_5393
I’m not so sure I’m back to normal though. My thought to blame someone else for nothing that had to do with the work they’d done, left a stain on my heart.
I will examine all measures before jumping the gun from now on.
I’m sure these incidents may, at some point, find their way into a book someday. My mind works overtime on plots also.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

JOAN REEVES aka SlingWords: Meet Main Street Author Susan R. Hughes

JOAN REEVES aka SlingWords: Meet Main Street Author Susan R. Hughes: This week I'm featuring the Authors of Main Street who have a box set, Christmas on Main Street , which should be available on or abo...

JOAN REEVES aka SlingWords: Meet Main Street Author Jill James

JOAN REEVES aka SlingWords: Meet Main Street Author Jill James: This week I'm featuring the Authors of Main Street who have a box set, Christmas on Main Street , available for the holidays. Each ...

JOAN REEVES aka SlingWords: Meet Main Street Author Tori Scott

JOAN REEVES aka SlingWords: Meet Main Street Author Tori Scott: Authors of Main Street is a group blog with a dozen or more popular authors, including me, sharing the blogging duties. As a special Chr...

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A Smoky Mountain Christmas





Now available at:
Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Smashwords


Go to Author Carol DeVaney to read the first three chapters.

Think Sandra Bullock meets country hunk. Wacky fresh and funny characters are stranded together in a Smoky Mountain snowstorm three days before Christmas.
Tina Cole has one goal: to take back control of her life. Falling
in love isn't part of the bargain. On the rebound from a fizzled relationship, she lands on writer Hank Gordon's doorstep and finds that everything she thought she wanted out of life means nothing without love.
Recently divorced and disillusioned by love, Hank Gordon has sworn off women. He isn't in the mood to entertain a woman with an attitude who frustrates him more than any woman he’s ever met. Hank’s novel deadline is twenty-four hours away and he's cut off from
the world with no phone or email service, and a beautiful, aggravating crazy woman to distract him. If Hank thinks his life couldn't get any worse, he's wrong. Not only is he baby-sitting a sassy Southern princess who has no idea what a kitchen is for, but two escaped convicts turn up at the cabin, while Hank’s horse is about to foal.
A rollicking story filled with passion, humor, suspense, and zesty romantic adventure.

Review
June Faver
A Smoky Mountain Christmas is a delightful read. Two quirky, misfits on the rebound accidentally wind up stranded together in an isolated place. Over the course of a few days, they grow to appreciate each other and lose their hearts in spite of seemingly overwhelming odds. Two more dissimilar characters I've never met, but they are able to grow together and find that the other is exactly what they need to heal their past hurts and become whole again. A sweet feel-good story for the holidays.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Painted Lady

JD Faver is a new author, and released Painted Lady on Smashwords. The plot, the pace and all its quirky characters, are full of wit, emotion, funny and engaging. Jon has his work cut out for him dealing with Max, who he thinks is a male artist. Hilarious and will keep you laughing or smiling intil the end. A great read! Available as an ebook from Smashwords or Amazon.

A Rancher's Pride - Barbara White Daille

Sam and Kayla's story left me with mixed emotions. Not only did Sam's wife leave him without explanation, he had no idea he'd fathered a child. Sam's at a loss as how to deal or communicate with Becky, his little deaf girl. When Kayla, Sam's ex-sister-in-law, enters the picture, her existence threatens more than Sam ever dreamed. Their story leaves you cheering for Sam, yet feeling for Kayla, who loves and had cared for Becky since birth. Secrets bind Sam to the past and now the future. A Rancher's Pride is a terrific read, and I look forward to Barbara's next novel.

I hope you'll pick up a copy. You won't regret it

Friday, October 22, 2010

Tara Taylor Quinn - Chapman Series

I highly recommend Tara Taylor Quinn's "The 1st Wife." It's well written and leaves me anxious for the remaining three stories in the Chapman series. The story of abused women will touch every woman who reads it and will find intriguing. Thanks to Tara for a moving and lively novel.

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Water is Wide by Pat Conroy

The Water is Wide is beautifully written. A distressing, yet inspiring memoir.
In the book, Pat Conroy writes an honest, candid account of his year as a teacher at Yamacraw, based on Daufuskie Island, off the South Carolina coast.

Pat’s early teaching position prepared him for yet another milestone in his courageous writing. From day one, at Yamacraw’s school, Conroy seeks to reconcile years of disregard for every child’s right: the right to a proper education. Conroy shares his shock, hopes and dreams for the children who are neglected and uneducated, which is sad, yet inspirational.

As with Conroy’s, Prince of Tides, I was drawn immediately into the unique story. I was appalled at the lack of education on the island and even more so, at the men in control who bent to no man to assist Conroy in his efforts to alter the offensive school system. It would take more than Pat Conroy’s unconventional teaching methods to deliver the tools required for the system to meet their children’s needs.

The children on Yamacraw were part of our future; the island’s school system investment let them down.