Monday, October 14, 2019

Book Spotlight: LOVE, LOOK AWAY by Lisette Brodey

Today I have the pleasure of spotlighting Lisette Brodey's newest book, LOVE, LOOK AWAY! 

I knew this book was in the works and I got excited when Lisette announced it was officially published. Love, Look Away is my current read. I'd like to share with you a little bit about the story. 

~ * ~

At twenty-nine, Sage Gordon has had it with love. The owner of Sage Earth Gifts, a metaphysical gift shop in the old-money town of Swansea, New York, Sage is content to run her quirky store and enjoy her dog, Rufus, and her two cats, Finlay and Babaloo.

She is convinced love isn't for her. As a child, her best friend, Jimmy Cole, the boy she thought she'd marry someday, disappeared in the middle of the night with his family and was never heard from again. Haunted by the loss, she was wary about love as she moved into adulthood, never really connected with the men she dated, clinging to the hope that Jimmy would return.

When she's set up with Caleb Dunlap, a gorgeous marketing executive in New York City, Sage struggles to let go of the past, but she does. Happily, she finds herself engaged...then...not so much. If only Caleb had betrayed her before she sent out save-the-date cards.

When an obnoxious customer causes Sage's neurotic assistant, Margie, to quit on the spot, Sage finds a friend in Godiva Jones, a woman she hires on the same spot. Godiva, twenty years older than Sage, brings much-needed friendship and wisdom. Having recently broken up with the love of her life, Freddie, Godiva also relates to the pain of heartbreak. She is disturbed, however, when Sage professes that she wants love to look away from her...forever.

In no time at all, life takes another turn for Sage when an old friend (and long-time admirer), Adam Canoga, shows up at Sage Earth Gifts to let her know that he's opening a new men's clothing store in town. Discovering she is no longer engaged, he asks her out, but with regret, she tells Adam that she has no interest in dating. Sage's resolve to do without love becomes an even greater challenge when an Australian visitor, Benton Bradley, walks into Sage Earth Gifts and impresses Sage with his warmth and Aussie humor. Despite her best efforts to keep love at arm's length, she finds herself developing relationships with both Adam and Benton, two completely different, yet wonderful men. But Sage is stubborn, still haunted by her past, and finds herself wholly unsure of what to do.

*Lisette has written a blog post about Love, Look Away that talks about her inspiration for this book. If you'd like to check it out, click on the link below:

AUTHOR'S NOTE:  Love, Look Away is set in the same fictional town (Swansea, NY) as my first romantic comedy, Molly Hacker is Too Picky! This book is not, however, a sequel or a series. Love, Look Away is a stand-alone novel.

Some readers will recognize several characters from Molly, including Molly herself, playing supporting roles. And to readers who have never read Molly, but who may wish to do so, rest assured this novel does not give away the ending.

Lisette's bio:

Lisette was born and raised in the Philadelphia area. She spent ten years in New York City, and now resides in Los Angeles.

She's a multi-genre author of nine novels and one short story collection. In addition, two more of Lisette's short stories are published in an anthology. 

In 2013, Lisette edited and published a book of her mother's poetry (written 50 years earlier): My Way to Anywhere by Jean Lisette Brodey.

Books by Lisette:

Crooked Moon (General/Literary Fiction)
Squalor, New Mexico (Coming-of-age/Lit Fiction)
Molly Hacker is Too Picky! (Women's fic/romantic comedy) 
The Desert Series: Mystical High, Desert Star, and Drawn Apart (3 book series - YA Paranormal)
Barrie Hill Reunion (Literary Fiction)
Hotel Obscure: A Collection of Short Stories (Literary Fiction)
Love, Look Away (Women's fic/romantic comedy)
Triptychs (Anthology - book 3, The Mind's Eye series)

* Buy links *

You can follow Lisette Brodey here:




Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Special Guest: Christine Clark writing as C. B. Clark

My special guest is Christine Clark, writing as C. B. Clark.

Christine's an amazing writer and she's here today to share her newest romantic suspense, SECRET BETRAYAL. 

Here's the blurb...

Head college librarian, Marissa Reynolds has spent years distancing herself from her crime king pin uncle and his criminal empire. When she awakens in an unfamiliar hotel room with blood on her hands and no memory of how she got there, the past returns with a vengeance, and her life spirals into a nightmare. 

Straight-laced, Assistant district attorney, Scott Bannister has spent a lifetime seeking justice for the senseless gangland shooting deaths of his parents. When he realizes Marissa is the niece of his prime suspect, he crosses a line guaranteed to put in jeopardy both his life and his beloved career.

He's made it clear he'll do anything to destroy her uncle. She fears he's using her to achieve his goal. As the body count mounts, and their lives are threatened, they must put aside their distrust and work together to find the devious killer. Will they be able to forgive and find true love?

Christine has given us an excerpt of this great story...

     She pushed to her hands and knees. The pounding in her brain mushroomed into a full-blown, jackhammer assault. With a moan, she sank onto her bottom and grabbed her head in a fruitless effort to keep her brain from exploding. Despite the pain, she needed to get up. Something was wrong. Something was very wrong.
     Faint wisps of light seeped through the edges of the window curtains. The distant sound of traffic echoed through the glass. A lamp imbued the room with a soft, rosy glow, revealing a king-size bed. The cover on the bed was a glossy, garish pink, the pillows covered in the same lurid color, the edges trimmed with frilly, black lace.
     She rubbed the back of her neck and closed her eyes, but when she opened them again she was still in the unfamiliar room. A battered desk faced the bed, a large, flat screen television on top. The flickering images of a naked, full-breasted woman being entertained by two equally naked men played across the screen.
     A wingback chair, covered in black leatherette sat in the far corner where a door was ajar revealing the cracked linoleum floor of a bathroom and the edge of a chipped porcelain sink. A framed diagram of a fire escape route was posed on the back of the other door. A hotel room? She dug her fingers into her temples. Why couldn't she remember?

With the blurb and excerpt, I think Christine has given us a great setup for all the chaos that has happened, the danger still to come, and shocking secrets yet to be revealed.

If you would like to discover what is in store for Marissa and Scott, you can find SECRET BETRAYAL here:


Here's a little bit about Christine...

Secret Betrayal is award-winning author C.B. Clark's fifth romantic suspense published by The Wild Rose Press. She has worked as an archaeologist and an educator, and enjoys hiking, canoeing, and snowshoeing with her husband and dog near her home in the wilderness of central British Columbia.

If you'd like to follow Christine...



Wednesday, April 10, 2019

A small excerpt from TAMING TORI

TAMING TORI is book #3 in my Texas Boys Falling Fast Series. I wanted to shared a small excerpt with you so you know a little about Tori Caye's character and a little about Jake Garrison's.

     "Are you angry with me, Jake?"

     "What? No." Tori's line of cleavage kept getting longer. Any second now, those magnificent breasts would escape the thin piece of elastic holding them undercover. At the very least, a nipple would see the light of day. He tried not to follow the action, but his eyes had a will of their own.

     "Then why do you keep backing away? I don't have bubonic plague or the flu."

     A laughed formed in Jake's chest. He lowered his head so she wouldn't see the smile kinking the corners of his mouth. 

     "Seriously, I don't." The sob in her voice made him meet her eyes.

     "Tori, all these years you treated me like I had the plague."

     "No I didn't."

     Jake wouldn't argue the point. "I need another beer. He took a step away from the table."

     Tori darted in front of him and messed with the lapels of his tux. "I may have kept you at an arm's length in the past. I no longer want to." Placing her palms hard against his rib cage, she looked up at him through slow, calculated blinks. "I could use a friend."

     Don't get sucked in! Jake repeated it twice in his head. He needed to say it out loud. If his ears heard the advice, exercising caution might actually happen and the chance of being pulled deeper into her melodramatic existence would be minimal. The window of opportunity slammed shut when she moved in so close he could feel her body heat. 

* The battle of wits isn't easily won. Find out which one triumphs. You can follow their story here:  TAMING TORI ... on Amazon

Thank you so much for visiting my blog!




Tuesday, March 26, 2019

An interview with author/editor Cindy Davis!

It's always a pleasure to have a fellow author on my blog. Today my guest is author and editor, Cindy Davis. 

Welcome, Cindy! Let's get right to the interview...

1.) You've been an editor and writer for many years. How do you turn off the editor part of you, to tap into your creative side?

Cindy -- I don't. For me it's helpful to have the editor side turned on at all times. It helps create better first drafts. It does have a down side though; I cannot just write a stream of consciousness thought. By the time I'm halfway through I've forgotten what it was.

2.) You have 6 books in your Angie Deacon detective/cozy mystery series. Will you tell us about your main character?

Cindy -- Angie is a conflicted (although she doesn't know it) woman that faces much growth and change throughout the series. At the outset she is very high-maintenance and materialistic. After the demise of her marriage she faces herself many times in the mirror and realizes who she really is as a person. So actually, even though the plots are twisty and complicated and people tell me all the time they couldn't figure out whodunnit, I think it's mostly about her as a person.

3.) You also have a Smith and Westen cozy mystery series. Clue us in as to what we'll find when we start reading this collection of books.

Cindy -- I wanted to get away from the standard murder mystery format. Although my books were never gory and descriptive (more like what you'd see on Murder She Wrote), I wanted to do something fun and nothing that could remotely be considered romance.

This began with creating unique and totally diverse characters. Phoebe (don't call me that unless you have a death wish) Smith plays tuba, loves heavy metal music and snakes, and doesn't believe in underwear. Westen Hughes is a widowed Susie Homemaker with sensible shoes and fresh baked blueberry muffins. Kendra Jean KJ Valentine is a hardworking insurance underwriter who strives for recognition, and who loves men. She and Westen have a past. They went to high school together and she stole the cheerleader position, the football star, and valedictorian award from her. Sergeant Charlene Charlie Bartowski is recently widowed, mother of two teens, who escapes her home life to work. She craves a lieutenant's position and keeps getting passed over for men...

In On the Hook I put them all together and added a stolen Picasso worth a ton of money, and let them loose to see who found it first and garnered the 10% finders fee.

4.) These days you've replaced the northern cold with the southern warmth. Have both locations played a part in how and what you write?

Cindy -- In a sense. I haven't written a single mystery since moving south. After meeting Rick and finding what an amazing plot designer he is, we have been co-authoring New Age fiction which, yes, is set in warm climes.

5.) Collaborating with Rick to write some books, was it easy to step out of your comfort zone and write with someone else? 

Cindy -- Rick has always been an avid reader of many genres. Even so, he surprised me with his ability to understand story construction and character development. Which made the writing relationship smooth and fun. We hash out ideas for several chapters, then I construct them into what I hope is intelligible stuff, send it to him and he makes comments and suggestions. 

6.) Speaking of adding genres to your dossier, you've recently embarked on publishing motivational and self-help books, as well as New Age spiritual fiction. I'm intrigued, and I'm sure my readers and yours are too. Tell us a little bit about these books.

Cindy -- Since we met on a dating site, we thought it would be fun to write a how-to (we'd heard numerous horror stories about online dating). It contains both the male and female perspective about each topic presented in what we hope is a humorous manner. We did the same on a few other books -- Dating After Divorce, Resuming Life After the Death of a Spouse (topics on which we had some connection), a tongue-in-cheek look at raising kids, then a couple of how-to's on raising dogs, which I did for 16 years.

Rick has his own book How I Lost a Thousand Pounds, Eating my Way to Better Health (he lost a hundred pounds over a 2 year period).

The New Age fiction... How to describe this? We are avid readers, and frequently read out loud to each other. One book we chose was The Celestine Prophecy. We loved the premise -- of a character discovering spirituality for the first time, and learning it was inside him all the time. We wanted to write on a similar topic since I had done much the same thing and could really identify with that character. Thus was born Zipacna's Legacy, Jade. The easiest way to explain is with the synopsis:

There is an energy vortex in Chi'pais, Mexico. Rumor has it the elderly Zipacna created the vortex to lure unsuspecting outsiders (and their tuition) to his school of shamanism. Within the spiritual world, it was a celebrated center for spiritual training, teaching at levels beyond the 'back to Mother Earth' that centuries of shamans learned.

Granddaughter Jade inherits the property thinking it's a hotel. When townspeople shun her, and someone tries to frighten her away, she is baffled, but believes they will come around in time. She discovers the energy vortex but all she knows is it makes her feel invigorated. Until the arrival of 8-year-old Miguel, who, through his spiritual connections to Zipacna, helps awaken a shocking asset: her seer and healer's abilities, which she comes to realize she had all along.

A secret room imparts the knowledge she needs to embrace her spirituality and find a way to bring it to the world. She comes to terms with her legacy, repairs relationships thought long lost, and reopens the school.

7.) The publishing industry has changed over the years and writers are free to independently publish now. If you could give these writers a great piece of advice, what would it be?

Cindy -- Learn learn learn and edit edit edit. (Rick read this part and added, "Don't even start writing!") Learn about the industry and the tremendous work it takes to get recognized. Write a good story and get it professionally edited. This will sound harsh but DO NOT just put out your unedited book and expect it will sell. I -- and thousands of other authors, many of whom become my editing clients -- can promise it won't.

8.) How do you balance your writing life and book promotion with all the great things that the sunshine state has to offer?

Cindy -- I am the luckiest person on earth. I married a person who loves marketing. Really? I didn't know anyone had that ability. I had given up on the promotions. Things were going nowhere -- Why? I hadn't taken the time to learn the industry; I'd only gone halfway.

Rick works MANY hours per week branding me and getting my books out there. Listen folks -- he works almost FULL TIME at it. That's how much there is to do, and it is forever changing. We typically work in the office from 5am to noon. After lunch we run errands, workout, and/or have fun.

9.) When you need to recharge, what kinds of things help you to relax the most? That inspire you the most? 

Cindy -- So many things. We listen to bands (live music is available everywhere here), find unique restaurants, hike, go to the beach, walk in parks, watch nature, travel, and talk. No topic is taboo. We read out loud. It's not unusual to read a paragraph then spend 2 hours discussing it. We do not watch television except for football. 

10.) What are you currently working on? 

Cindy -- We just finished the sequel to Jade. The title is Zipacna's Legacy, Miguel. He is Jade's protege and on his own spiritual journey. It's set in Sedona, AZ. Our agent wants a third, but we're holding off writing it for now, although the plot is pretty much together. Yes, we do outlines. LOL.

We are also working on what is sure to be a very controversial book. I will share more on this once we get it better solidified. But it is sure to turn the New Age world on its ear...

* ~ *

Cindy (and Rick), I am in awe of your talent and energy! Thank you for sharing your writing life, books, and wisdom. I hope you'll be my guest(s) again. 

If you'd like to follow Cindy and Rick...
@cdavis461 (Twitter)


Sunday, March 3, 2019

A funny excerpt from WINE SISTERS FOREVER!

I recently published book #5 in my Wine and Sweat Pants Series and titled it WINE SISTERS FOREVER. So many fun things happened in this book as I wrote Elaina, Tawny, Steph, and Grace's newest adventures. I laughed a lot, so I thought I'd share one particular scene that had me cracking up. I hope it has the same effect on you. (For those who haven't read the earlier books, in book #3 the girls moved to Maine, and opened The Four Sassy Chicks Bed and Breakfast) 

* ~~ *

This scene is from Chapter Four in Wine Sisters Forever:

Elaina huddled Tawny, Steph, and Grace together, and spoke as quietly as possible. Their guests Gordie and Ruth couldn't see three feet in front of them; nothing said they didn't have the exceptional hearing of bats. "I kid you not. They're eighty-four, have no credit cards or any form of ID, including no driver's licenses. They drove here from Bangor on I-95."

A series of repetitive thuds coming from Gordie and Ruth's room put them on high alert.

Grace's light blue eyes darkened with concern. "I hope they're not trying to signal us for help. Maybe we should have call-buttons installed in each room."

Tawny mocked with a head tilt. "We're not having call-buttons installed and I doubt they're trying to signal us. They're probably propped up against the headboard watching TV and every time they shift around the wood hits the wall."

"It's a heavy four-post bed. The headboard shouldn't hit the wall when they move to get comfortable."

Steph tiptoed to their door and cupped her ear against the wood. She shook her head and crept back to the kitchen. "Their TV isn't on and I swear I heard moaning."

Elaina was getting more concerned by the second. "What do we do?"

"We wait," Tawny stated matter-of-factly.

"For the stench of decomposing bodies?"

Tawny rolled her eyes at Steph. "Get real."

"Steph might be on to something. How do I word this delicately?"

"To heck with being delicate, just say it," Tawny urged.

Elaina shared the sad reality. "Time isn't something that Gordie and Ruth have on their side."

"Did they come here to...?" Grace splayed a hand across her face. "Ugh. I can't even."

"I'm sure their plan wasn't to check in and extinguish their...lights. It could be a matter of all that living fast and loose catching up with them."

Tawny's brows twitched with confusion. "Say again?"

"You heard me."

"Geez. Leave you in charge for a week and you interrogate our customers about their past. Are you that bored?" Tawny's mouth split into an ornery grin.

Elaina gave her a playful shove. “They volunteered the information.”

“Sure they did.”

“The three of you can stand there and wait for whatever might or might not be happening. I’m going upstairs to shower.” Grace pulled at the t-shirt with splotches of beige paint on the front. “Philip got his way as you can see. I wanted to paint the parlor a deep blue, but noooo, he bought beige.”

“Is he still being a grouch?”

“Nope. He’s had a magical transformation.” Grace started to leave.

“Graaaace, hold up.” Steph grabbed the back of Grace’s shirt. “You can’t dangle a carrot and walk away.”

“Unhand me.” Grace wrinkled her nose with amusement. “I told him to straighten up or I would check into those dating sites you ladies love.”

Elaina bunched her face into a teasing frown. "You’re a mean little woman.”

“Philip said the same thing.” Grace made it as far as the first step on the staircase.

Gordie and Ruth’s door flung open. Gordie stood in the doorway shirtless. Tufts of gray hair went every which way.

“Gordie, these are the other sassy chicks.” She introduced Grace as the business manager, Steph as their kitchen goddess, and Tawny as the resident nurse.

“I don’t need a nurse, Eloise. I need water. All that ‘action’ has made me thirsty.” He clicked his tongue.


“Long story, Tawn’,” Elaina whispered out of the side of her mouth and hoped Tawny and the others wouldn’t make a huge deal out of his reference to ‘action’. “There’s a small refrigerator near the desk, Gordie.” The amenities were explained when she’d shown them the room. It now appeared that they were more excited to get ‘busy’ rather than to actually listen. Instinct made her feet move, but Gordie stopped her by jutting out a spindly arm.

“You might not want to come closer. Ruth’s too hot to put clothes on or to cover with a blanket. Give her a few minutes.”

“Right.” Elaina heard Tawny’s restrained tee-hee’ing behind her. To keep her own laughter from spilling out, she bit the inside of her cheek and diverted her gaze to Grace, who noiselessly mouthed the word, “Unbelievable.”

“On second thought, do you have any energy drinks? The pill’s doing what it’s supposed to, but I’m drained.”

Steph had yet to put two and two together. “Has your sugar level dropped?”

Elaina glanced at Steph. “His sugar’s fine.”

“Then what?”

Tawny blurted, “Do we really need to spell it out?”

Steph got huffy right away. “No!” Awareness hit her a milli-second later. “Ohhhh.”

The nurse in Tawny took over. “I don’t want to boss you around, but it isn’t wise to combine an energy drink with that particular pill, or any pill for that matter.”

“That’s what Ruth says.”

Elaina could no longer contain her laughter. She giggled until she snorted. “Gordie, you and Ruth are a hoot. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone quite like you.”

“Did you hear that, Ruth? Eloise thinks we’re a hoot.”

Ruth’s reprimand was wobbly and low. “Gordie, get it together. Her name is Elaina, not Eloise.”

Gordie’s whiskery face fell. “Sorry, Elaina.”

“No worries. Really.” She didn’t want to him to dwell on the mistake, so she changed the subject. “I noticed that you and Ruth skipped dinner.”

“We don’t know our way around Portland. We thought we’d wait until morning and eat a big breakfast.”

Breakfast wasn’t for another twelve hours. There’s no way Elaina could make them wait that long. They had likely expended their calorie reserves by knocking the headboard against the wall. “Are you interested in leftover meatloaf, cheesy potatoes, and applesauce?”

“Dear girl, you’re a godsend.”

“She’s more motherly than godsend-ish,” Tawny teased.

I’m more of a sap than godsend-ish, but hey, I am what I am.

** If you'd like to check out the adventures (or misadventures) of these four mischievous women, you can find them on AMAZON -- <---just click the link. 

Thank you so much for taking the time to pop in and read this scene! 

(Cover art by Deborah with Tugboat Design) 

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Two Minus One: A Memoir by Kathryn Taylor

Today I have the pleasure of welcoming Kathryn Taylor to my blog with her book, Two Minus One: A Memoir.

From Kathryn...

It is November 6, 2018. The moment has finally arrived! It is publication day for my story Two Minus One: A Memoir! The book is available everywhere and I am officially an author! I search for words to describe my emotion, but I am at a loss to find anything that fits the level of exhilaration -- and relief -- at reaching this pinnacle.

It was August 2017 when my story, then titled When the OTHER Shoe Drops - or He's Really NOT in it for Life was accepted by Brooke Warner for publication. I let out a huge sigh of relief, naively thinking that my job was over. The professionals would now step in and turn my experience into a book that could reach and help others. I quickly discovered how much I didn't know about writing and publishing a book.

I was assigned to the very talented and gifted editor, Annie Tucker. An angel was watching over me as that decision was made, and I will be forever grateful that Annie came into my life. Week after week, we worked slowly, carefully, and diligently to expand and improve my story. Word by word, page by page, and chapter by chapter, I relived my painful experience. I was encouraged to dig deeper, share more, and expound further on the most debilitating episode of my life. I was gently prodded to reveal intimate details that would allow the reader to connect with my trauma on an even more personal and deeper level than I had originally intended. We were told that, "Cliches didn't sell," and concurred on a new title. Together, we tweaked, revised, perfected. By December, we had a "polished gem." I was physically ill and emotionally drained. It was time to enjoy the holidays with my daughters. The manuscript was on its way to proofreaders. I was confident that it was now time for the professionals to step in and take over!

I was wrong again! January 2018 and it was now time for Social Media Boot Camp. It was my opportunity to really grasp all that I didn't know about the publication and marketing of a book. It was time to discover Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. It was time for an author website, newsletters, and hiring a publicist. I was fortunate to have a supportive publishing environment. Yet I struggled with every aspect of marketing and self-promotion. I would never make it to publication day.

I was lucky that two friends stepped in to offer wisdom and support as they listened to my frustrations about the process. The first offered these wise words. "You must not think of talking about the book as pushing a sale but providing a service. Your story will help others and you must free yourself to share it." The second enthusiastically offered, "I have a friend who can help!" Shari Stauch was my second miracle in this process. Sitting patiently beside me for hours at a time, she re-designed my website, my social media and my identity. She reminded me that I was a skilled author, had a quality product, and people would be waiting to read it and learn more -- about my experience and about me.

So here it is! November 6, 2018 -- my PUBLICATION DAY!!! I am comfortable wearing my author persona and gleefully share my business cards, as well as my story with anyone willing to listen. I am more relaxed on social media and am even followed on Twitter by Jan Romes and Chris Bohjalian. I am joyfully anticipating a private Launch Party on the tenth to thank family and friends for their support throughout this journey. I am euphoric by the genuine excitement that people have at the prospect of having my book in their hands.

I am humbled by the generosity of so many who offered to host events and spread the word about my accomplishment. I am no longer timid. I am triumphant. It is November 6, 2018 and I have added yet another description to my resume. I am an AUTHOR!

Kathryn Taylor was born at the Great Lakes Naval Station near Chicago, Illinois and spent much of her life in the Chicagoland area. Taylor enjoyed thirty years in the classroom as an elementary school teacher and had taught in Illinois, California, and Virginia before she retired to South Carolina. It was there where Taylor wrote her book, Two Minus One: A Memoir following the unexpected abandonment of her second husband. Taylor is an avid reader, enthusiastic traveler, and incurable beach lover. She resides outside of Charleston, SC, with her rescue dog, Lucy, where she can enjoy all three of her favorite past times. Lean more at

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Sometimes pizza is just pizza; sometimes it's so much more!

I love how food can sometimes heighten the setting in a story. In Keeping Kylee, pizza plays an important role in the scene where millionaire Quinn Randel comes to grip with his feelings for down-to-earth, financially strapped, single mom, Kylee Steele. 

Here's a small part of that scene... (She's packed and ready to move to Arkansas)

"We're having tomato soup and carrot sticks. I didn't restock the cupboards or fridge because we're leaving."

"I love tomato soup." It didn't matter what they had, as long as they were together. 

Kylee searched the few items she hadn't packed. She thought she'd left out the can opener, but it was nowhere to be found. The packing process had involved tears and tape, not markers and organization. There was no way to determine which one held the can opener and she wasn't about to start pulling off tape to find the blasted thing. "We might have to order pizza."

"You can't go wrong with pizza." Quinn pulled his cell phone into view. "I'll take care of it." He walked to the far end of the living room and in a hushed tone placed the order.

Odd. He hadn't asked what kind they liked. It didn't matter though. If it came with onions and anchovies, she and Gabs could pick them off.

Quinn wandered back and put his hands on her hips. "It should arrive any..." A knock on the door made his eyes sparkle and his lips curl into a smile. "...second."

Kylee quirked an eyebrow. "You have clout, Randel, but not enough to have pizza delivered at the snap of your fingers."

Quinn started for the door. Kylee stepped in front of him and opened it to find Ty and Maggie, Trigg, Nancy, Jake and Tori. "Umm..." She tried not to show her surprise, but she couldn't hide her confusion. "Come in."

Trigg carried in several pizza boxes. Ty had a case of Coke. Jake had a twelve pack of Lone Star. Maggie had a plastic grocery bag hanging from her wrist that held paper plates, Dixie cups and napkins. 

"Good thing I couldn't find the can opener."

From beneath one of the couch cushions, Quinn produced the opener. "You mean this one?" He smiled like he pulled a fast one.

"How in the world?"

Gabbi giggled. "Quinn and I tricked you. When you weren't looking, he tiptoed to the couch with the opener."

"Nark," Quinn teased, but gave Gabbi a high-five.

Kylee pretended to be irked by closing her eyelids halfway, but the corners of her mouth went up on their own.

Maggie gave Kylee a hug and shared some truth. "You have to watch him every minute. Next he'll be hiding your underwear."

Kylee deliberately tugged her jean shorts a little higher. "Thanks for the tip."

Trigg sat the pizza boxes on the coffee table and was about to take a slice from the box marked deluxe.

"Drop it, Sinclair."

Trigg laughed and took a bite. "Who's going to stop me?"

Nancy wrinkled her nose with amusement. "Quite the bunch, aren't they?"

"They are," Kylee said, still curious as to why they were there.

"Everyone back away from the pizza," Quinn ordered. He lifted his wrist to expose his watch. "The others should be here anytime now."

"The others? Quinn, please explain." Kylee crossed her arms. Quinn remained tight-lipped. "Are you staging an intervention?" She looked to Maggie for answers. If anyone would give it to her straight, Maggie would.

Maggie turned an imaginary key at her lips and pretended to toss it over her shoulder. 

Nancy lowered her head so she wouldn't be coerced into giving anything away. 

Tori lifted her chin and looked away.

Kylee got the same sealed-off, don't-bother-asking expressions from Ty, Trigg, and Jake. Last but not least, she used her forefinger to motion Quinn closer. Tell me what this is or..." She poked his chest and dropped her voice so Gabbi wouldn't hear. "...I won't let you hide my panties."  

** There is so much more to this scene that I hope will win your heart. You can check out Quinn and Kylee's story here:

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