Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Rough Around the Edges Meets Refined by Rachael Anderson

Rough Around the Edges

Rough Around the Edges Meets Refined (Meet Your Match #2) by Rachael Anderson

For Noah Mackie, life is finally back on track. He has a great support system, a promised promotion is on its way, and he's finally getting the hang of this single father thing. But when the job falls through and his neighbor's matchmaking efforts become more aggressive,

Noah is in for yet another unwanted detour. With his career and two spirited daughters to worry about, he doesn't have time for dating—especially not someone like Cassie Ellis, his girls' beautiful and sophisticated dance instructor, who is about as open and approachable as a brick wall.

Rough around the Edges Meets Refined is about two people who think they know exactly what they want but who have no idea what they really need. It's about learning that people aren't always what they seem and that sometimes life’s detours take you exactly where you need to go.  

My Review:

5 Stars

This is such a fun, romantic, sweet story. I loved, loved, loved the characters! The two little girls are adorable. I loved that characters from the first book in the series made an appearance, because I really liked Emma and Kevin and I love what happens to them in this book.

I think both Cassie and Noah are rough around the edges, but for different reasons. Cassie finds it hard to trust. She's lost herself while in a bad marriage and now that she's free to be whomever she wants, she isn't even sure who that is. I loved experiencing her soul-searching and finding out who she really is.

Noah has his own baggage. He is a fantastic father and the scenes between him and his daughters are very tender as they all try to heal from their loss.

The romance built up naturally and had plenty of intensity. Rachael Anderson is masterful at writing romance!  It kept me reading long into the night.

If you are looking for a sweet, clean, fun romance that leaves you smiling, this is a book you don't want to miss. I highly recommend it.

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Through the curtains hanging across Noah’s front window, Cassie could see the glow of what appeared to be little white lights framing the window. She hesitated on the front porch, pulling her jacket tighter around the long, flowing top she’d chosen to wear with her favorite charcoal leggings, thinking that she should have worn sweats instead.

What would happen if she knocked on the door and allowed herself to dance with Noah? What if he tried to kiss her? Would she be strong enough to say not yet? Two months ago, she only knew this man as the father of two little girls in one of her dance classes. Now she was about to spend the evening dancing with him.

A breeze whipped at her cheeks, and Cassie glanced at her car parked in the driveway. She should leave right now and send him a text that she’d changed her mind. He might be disappointed, but he’d understand.

Or—her gaze returned to the glowing window—she could knock and dance with Noah like they’d danced before.

No big deal.

Her mom used to tell her: “Don’t run toward a relationship, but don’t run away from it either. If it’s right, it’ll just happen.”

It had sounded so easy, so smart. And Cassie had thought she was doing just that when she’d dated Landon. But looking back, she’d not only run toward marriage, she’d full on sprinted. She’d let the fog of twitterpation, fairy tales and romance cloud her judgment. Cassie hadn’t really known Landon and he hadn’t known her. It was like they’d fallen in love on a reality dating show, where nothing had been real. She’d been romanced, schmoozed, and swept off her feet. But she’d never been loved.
Looking back, it was all so clear to her now.

A shadow crossed in front of the window—a tall shadow with strong shoulders, a confident gait, and a good heart. Yes, it had only been two months since Cassie had met Noah. But in that short amount of time, he knew her better than Landon ever had—faults, quirks, Irish dancing, and all.

Maybe taking a small step forward wouldn’t be such a bad thing.

Cassie lifted her hand and rapped on the door. A moment later, it opened, and the dark shadow became Noah. His face was freshly shaved, his hair was slightly damp, and he wore a fitted, button-down shirt that was as blue as his eyes. Her breath caught.

“Wow,” said Noah. “You look beautiful.”

“And you look . . . great.” Too great. Her physical reaction to him was so strong that she wanted to sprint forward and forget all about taking her time.

Not good.

Noah opened the door wider. “Would you like to come in?”

Behind him, the soft glow of the lights created a sort of aura around him, and three beefy candles flickered on his bar. With the furniture pushed to the side, the room oozed romance. He probably smelled amazing too—just one more thing to sink her deeper into that quicksand.

Noah held out his hand. “Don’t be nervous, Cass. It’s just me.”

That was the problem. Noah wasn’t just anyone. He had the power to undo her. “Promise we won’t move too fast.” Her eyes pled with his.

“I promise,” he answered, wiggling his fingers. “I loaded a lot of slow songs, so we’ll be moving very slowly.”

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  Rough Around the Edges

Rachael  Author Rachael Anderson USA Today bestselling author, Rachael Anderson is the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can't sing, doesn't dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.

25_Amazon_Paypal$25 Blog Tour Giveaway Enter to win an Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 1/19/15 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Monday, November 17, 2014

HUGE Sale on eBooks!

Go to Bookmarked Bargains and see all the amazing ebooks. Most are priced at $.99, including my ebooks, Imperfect Love and Best Kind of Love. Lots of genres, lots of authors, lots of great deals. If you love ebooks, you won't want to miss this blowout sale!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Best Kind of Love: A Reunion Romance Novella First Chapter


Brynn Sawyer’s nerves twitched as the small airplane neared Seaspray. She clenched her fists and pushed out a loud breath. Why did I decide to do this?

“Are you okay, dear?” the lady with white hair in the seat next to her asked. Her voice sounded as if she needed to clear her throat.

With warmed cheeks, Brynn nodded. It was silly that she was so apprehensive about this trip back to her hometown.

“Have you been to Seaspray before?”

“Yes.” Brynn didn’t say more. She wanted to be left alone, so she could gather her thoughts and rein in her feelings before the plane landed.

“Do you live here?”


“Here on vacation?”

Brynn mentally rolled her eyes. This woman seemed sweet and it was kind of her to try to have a conversation, but Brynn wasn’t prepared for the weekend and talking wouldn’t help. “No.” Guilt began to gnaw at her, so she said, “I grew up in Seaspray.” Brynn laid her head back. Maybe now she’ll stop asking me questions.

The woman coughed a few times and smoothed her short hair. “Oh, where do you live now?”
I guess she’s going to keep talking to me. I shouldn’t be rude. “I live in Houston. I moved there right after college.”

“Are you coming to see your parents?”

I wish.  “No. They don’t live here anymore.”

“Business trip?”

Brynn adjusted her weight in her seat. “A reunion, actually.” She swallowed. “High school.”

“Ah.” The woman studied Brynn. “Not looking forward to it?”

Is that written on my face? 

“I’ve become good at reading people in my old age.” She smiled, exposing crooked front teeth.

Brynn drew in a deep breath. “High school wasn’t that awesome, but my best friend—that I haven’t seen in years—talked me into coming. Now …”

“You wish you were headed back to Houston?”

“Yes.” A surge of relief swelled inside Brynn. Maybe talking to this lady would help her put her anxiety in its place.

After a few minutes, the lady said, “I went to my fiftieth reunion some years ago. A bunch of senior citizens showed up. I don’t know what they did with my classmates, but that room was full of old people, not the kids I knew in high school.” She laughed then coughed a few times. “I guess we all change.”

Brynn nodded, reminding herself that she wasn’t the same nerdy girl who tripped all over her words anymore. Right?

“My Frank was such a handsome man. All the girls liked him.” The woman rested her head back against the seat. “He was our senior class president and played football. He had the highest grades in the school. I didn’t think he’d ever want to take me on a date. I was shy and liked to spend my time at the library. Frank was popular and outgoing. I admired him from afar because I felt like I didn’t quite measure up.” She patted Brynn’s hand. “Probably makes no sense to a beautiful young woman like you.”

“Actually, it makes a lot of sense.” Brynn found herself fascinated by the woman’s story. “What happened with Frank?”

“After high school, he started working on our farm doing odd jobs. He built fences and milked the cows. He and Daddy became good friends. I’d see him every day and dream about him every night.

Then he went off to college.”


“He came home from school one weekend.” A smile slowly spread across her face as if the memories were playing out right in front of her. “Came right over to our house and stood on the porch. He had a hat in his hands and he liked to have ruined it while he stood there twisting it over and over again.”

“What did he say?” Brynn was a sucker for a great romance.

“He looked at me with his deep blue eyes—the color of the sky right before the sun sets—and  said,
‘Myrna, I want to marry you.’”

“Just like that?”

“Just like that.” Her eyes filled with tears. “He said he’d loved me since the day we’d sat by each other in English class. He just didn’t have the courage to ask me on a date because he said I intimidated him. He thought I was too beautiful.” She laughed. “Imagine that. He thought I was too beautiful.”

“Where is he now?”

“Oh, he passed last year.” Her expression saddened. “I miss him something fierce.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be. He was the love of my life. We were blessed with a long and happy marriage and three lovely daughters. My oldest, Barbara, moved to Seaspray a few years ago. I visit her and her sisters regularly. Helps to pass the time.”

Brynn imagined this woman’s full life filled with warm memories of the man she loved. She hoped to have that someday.

“What about you? Have you met your true love?”

“Me?” Brynn waved her hand. “I don’t know.”

“Maybe someone you’ll see this weekend?”

“Maybe.” She took a quick breath. “I don’t want to get my hopes up, but … I’d sure like to see a guy named Troy again. It’s been ten years since we graduated. I don’t even know where’s he’s been or if he’s married or if he’d even remember me.”

“Tell me about him.”

Brynn couldn’t stop her mouth from curling. “He played basketball. I used to go to the games just to watch him.”

“Did you ever talk to him?’

“No. Well, not really. Not in high school. He had his group of friends, and I had mine. I was in theater. Our worlds didn’t cross much. But that didn’t stop me from wishing.”

The woman gave her a look that prompted her to go on.

“I so wanted to go to prom with him. I even imagined it all in my head.”

“Did you go with him?”

“No.” Brynn shook her head. “He went with his girlfriend. A cheerleader, of course. Part of his group.”

The lady patted Brynn’s hand, conveying her empathy. After a few moments, she asked, “Did you go to your prom?”

“Yeah. With my best friend, Craig.”


“It was awesome. Craig and I always had so much fun together. He made me laugh all the time. It wasn’t romantic or anything, but a lot of fun. ”

“Will he be at the reunion?”

Brynn shrugged. “I don’t know. We lost touch after graduation.”

The pilot spoke over the intercom and told them to prepare for landing. After some bumps, the plane slowed.

The woman laid her frail, warm hand over Brynn’s. “I hope you have a wonderful time at the reunion and I hope you get to see your Troy.”

My Troy? Brynn giggled to herself. I wish. “Thank you. Enjoy visiting your daughter.”

“If there’s anything I’ve learned at my age, it’s to seize the moment. Don’t let yours pass you by.”

Brynn exited the plane and stood at the baggage carousel thinking about her conversation on the plane. Would she have a “moment” at the reunion? Was that too much to hope for?  She spotted her navy blue suitcase and grabbed it, noticing that the airport had some improvements since the last time she’d visited Seaspray six years ago.

Brynn found the white four-door Chevy Impala she’d reserved out in the parking lot and plunged the key into the ignition. The engine roared and she was off. Rolling down the windows, she let the aromatic ocean air filter through her hair. She’d missed the unmistakable scent of Seaspray.

The sun hung low in the sky as she drove near the beach on the route back to the 101 freeway. She’d spent so much time at Henderson Beach. Memories poured in, like the time Craig had tried to teach her to surf. A smile broke out.  He’d been so patient during the thirty-seven times she’d fallen off his surfboard. She never did get the hang of it, but they’d ended the day watching the sun as it dipped below the horizon and talking about life—something they did frequently. She hoped he’d be at the reunion so they could catch up.

She couldn’t wait to see Kari and have some much-needed girl time with her best friend. Even if she was anxious about the reunion, this weekend would be a nice break. Brynn loved her job as project manager, but she needed some down time. Work kept her so busy she hardly had a social life. Who was she kidding? She had zero social life.

Thanks for reading!

You can purchase Best Kind of Love at Amazon.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Glorious by David Archuleta Cover by Madolyn T

If you have a chance, please watch my daughter sing this song on YouTube. If she gets enough views, her video might be featured on the Meet the Mormons page and she might have a chance to sing with David Archuleta.

She has always loved to sing and I think she sings this song beautifully!

Thank you!!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Cover Reveal: Best Kind of Love

I'm so excited! I love the new cover for my novella, Best Kind of Love. This will be the first in my novella series, A Reunion Romance. It will be available November 7th. Isn't the cover beautiful?!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Awesome Giveaway!

28 authors have come together to give you a
 reading list of FUN FALL FAVORITES! 

Look at some of these incredible books by talented authors, including me :).

And with Christmas right around the corner, who wouldn't want a chance to win some moola?


Click on the image to read a summary of each book :)


$300 Amazon Gift Card 
OR PayPal Cash

GIVEAWAY ends 11/17/14
No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older and legally able to receive and use an Gift Code. This giveaway is not associated with Rafflecopter, Facebook, Twitter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. Void where prohibited by law.

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This giveaway was organized by I Love to Read and Review Books :)
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(While we can no longer ask you to "LIKE" Facebook pages as an entry~ Facebook links are below ~ as "LIKES" would be very much appreciated :)
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Monday, October 6, 2014

My Son is Not a Joke

I took my son to school today and walked him to the gym, as I do every day because that's where his class meets. After I dropped him off, I stood to watch him find his class and another, older, class walked past me with their teacher. I listened to the kids.

"Hey, look at me, I'm a retard," said a boy as he mimicked what he presumed to be the way a "retard" would act.

I don't think it was aimed at my son, or anyone in particular. I think the boy was just "joking" and having "fun," but I heard it.

I thought about how it made me feel and wondered what it would be like if that child's mother had been standing where I was. What if my son had walked past her and said, "Hey, look at me I'm a (insert racial slur)" and then proceeded with what he presumed would be the actions associated with that particular slur?

I'm betting she wouldn't like it. I'm even betting she would've insisted my son not use such language to refer to hers. In fact, I think she night have been outraged.

While we seem to be making progress in some areas of respect, I think have progressed little when it comes to respecting people with disabilities. It seems to be okay to make fun of those with disabilities. It seems acceptable to use the word "retard" when denigrating someone else. It's okay to act "retarded" and laugh about it. It's a big joke. Only my son isn't a joke.

He didn't ask for an extra chromosome. I did nothing to make him have that extra chromosome. He was born with it and he will live with it all of his life.

He is progressing, learning, and trying to do his best despite that extra chromosome. His extra chromosome does not define him and he deserves to be treated with respect, not be made the butt of jokes. We work every day to teach people this and, some days, I think that message is getting out. I see kids smile at my son, put their arms around him, and include him. Then I have an experience like today and wonder.

Yet I am hopeful that the world will be a better place for my son. I keep hoping that people will see him as a human being, not as a chromosome count. I keep working to send out a message loud and clear.

I may only have one voice, but I do have a voice, and I am going to use it.

My son is not a joke.