Ice cream makes everything better!

It’s National Ice Cream Day. Yes, I guess it’s a thing. But does anyone really need a national day to enjoy a cup, cone or bowl of their favorite ice cream? Not me!

But, hey, I’ll play along. I’ve recently taken quite a liking to a pistachio gelato at Spin Pizza. But my all-time go-to fave is Haagen Dazs Vanilla Swiss Almond.IMG_1789

So in honor of this day, I’m sharing a scene from my first novel, Unexpected Legacy, which takes place around . . . you guessed it. Ice cream, of course!

Unexpected_Legacy_CoverUnexpected Legacy:

“It’s very nice to meet you,” Pattie continued. “My kids are dying to meet you, too, but we’ll save that for another day. Just remember, though, the longer you put it off, the more excited they’re going to be. That means the more wild and obnoxious they’ll get. And I won’t thank you when they start driving me crazy.”
Matt couldn’t help but grin as Brady stared at his aunt. She must’ve seemed crazy already to him.
“Well, I can see you’re a talker,” Pattie told Brady. “But since you shouldn’t talk and eat at the same time, we’re just going to leave this for you. We’ll collect the utensils later. Unless you decide to come out for dessert. Ice cream with caramel and whipped cream.”
With that, she winked at Brady and breezed out the door. Matt nodded at his son. “Need anything else?”
Brady shook his head.
While the others dug into the ice cream, Matt gathered up the empty pizza boxes and shoved them into the large plastic trash bin in his garage, grateful for the few moments of silence the task afforded him. He didn’t want to be rude, but he hoped Pattie and the kids would leave soon. He was ready to crash, or at least settle into the couch in front of some mind-numbing television.
He started back to the kitchen then heard Tess shriek, “There he is!”
Matt bounded up the stairs in time to see Brady standing in the hallway. All heads swiveled toward him.
Matt’s mother was the first to greet Brady.
“Brady, would you like some ice cream?”
He shrugged. “Sure.”
Pattie restrained Tess, who’d jumped from her chair, about to charge Brady.
“How ’bout caramel and whipped cream?” Nonie asked.
“Uh, sure,” Brady said.
“Well, come on in and sit down,” Matt’s dad said, pulling out a chair for him.
Brady took a few more steps, then plopped into the chair. Matt’s dad took the crutches from him and leaned them against a corner.
Matt held his breath as Brady looked around the table, making eye contact with the other kids.
“Brady,” Pattie spoke up and nudged Tess, who’d suddenly gone shy and was holding on to her mother. “This is your cousin, Tess.”
“Hi, Tess,” Brady said.
She turned away and hid behind Pattie.
Matt shook his head, not sure he’d ever understand children, no matter how many books he read.
Pattie went around the table. “And this is Alex. And Jeremy.”
They both mumbled a hello, and Brady nodded.
Nonie set a heaping bowl of ice cream in front of Brady.
“Now let him eat his ice cream,” she told the kids, as if they were clamoring to talk to him, rather than staring, tongue-tied. “And you eat yours, too. Jeremy, you’re making a mess. Here, use this napkin.”
Scott stood up and reached a hand toward Brady. “Hello, Brady, I’m Scott. These hooligans belong to me.”
Brady offered Scott about half a smile, and shook his hand. “Hi.”
“How’d you like to babysit some time?” Scott asked, a grin spreading across his face.
The room erupted in laughter, and the awkwardness seemed to subside.
Matt nodded at Brady, secretly proud of him for venturing out of the bedroom and facing the situation. It showed courage, and that was something they’d both need a healthy dose of in the coming months.

Click here to read more

And happy scooping! Feel free to share your fave with us!


Fireworks of a Different Kind

Don’t you love feisty characters who create fireworks on the page or the screen? Those women and underdogs who stand up for their rights or fight against the establishment are often the ones we connect with. The ones who make us clap and cheer.

In honor of July 4th – fireworks day, and the day that a bunch of people said “enough,” I thought I’d take some time to think about the fictional folks who make us say, “You go, girl!”

20170513Norma-Rae1The first one that comes to mind, and I’m probably showing my age here, is Norma Rae – the classic story of a young woman (played by Sally Fields) taking on big business to get union representation. Who didn’t cheer when she shut down her machine and climbed up on that table with her sign? It’s so iconic, that I refer to these kinds of scenes as Norma Rae Moments.

Remember when Jewell Ivy in “Country” told that banker he’d better come with more than a piece of paper to take her family’s land?

Or how about when single mom Erin Brockovich took on big business over chromium contamination and won? You go, girl!

Do you like these kinds of feisty characters? One of my all-time favorite romance books also features a great Norma Rae Moment. In Paradise, by Judith McNaught, Meredith Bancroft has finally had it. After years of being pushed around by her father and later the board of directors of his company, she finds the courage to fight back, and gives a stunned group of men a piece of her mind. In standing up for her principles, she stands up for herself and the love of her life. It’s a fun read.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00031]In one of my Women of Whitfield novels, Second Wind, single mom Dana Gerard has a similar “I’ve had enough” moment. She’s tired of keeping her nose to the grindstone. Of not making any waves to protect her job. She’s good at what she does. She’s responsible and then some. So when her integrity is challenged, she refuses to take it sitting down.

Sneak peek without spoilers:

It was hard to keep her cool when fire flared inside. This guy was going to get his answer. Gathering her courage, Dana gripped the arms of the chair, and pulled herself erect. “Thank you. I’d be happy to address that, Mr. Newman.”

She glanced around the room, making eye contact with the other people, who shifted uncomfortably and looked as though they’d like to be anywhere else.

I know there are many, many more examples in both books and movies. Share your favorite Norma Rae Moment and let’s enjoy the fireworks!

Happy Fourth to all!