Monday, October 19, 2015

Just Us Girls | “We Talk to Ourselves...a Lot!” by Loree Lough & Cerella Sechrist with Kate James

Yes, we’re back again, this time to shine the spotlight on our sweet ‘n’ sexy Heartwarming heroines…Harper Worth (from Cerella's Harper's Wish), Eden Quinn (from Loree's Sweet Mountain Rancher), and Jessica Hansen (from Kate’s When the Right One Comes Along).

(Please check the end of this post for the announcement of the winners of the October releases Fall in Love this Fall giveaway!)


When the girls heard that their guys had been together—talking about them over Porterhouse steak—Jessica suggested a Girls’ Day Out at Mission Bay, and Harper and Eden were only too happy to accept the invitation…


JESSICA: Smart of you to book this ‘beer and pretzel manicure-pedicure’, Harper. (wiggles toes) My feet have never looked sexier.

HARPER: Ever since I read about these San Diego seaside spas in Travel and Leisure, I’ve dreamed of trying one out. (shrugs) What a perfect way to kill two birds with one stone: Get to know one another better and unwind from the trip west. (grins) By the way…you have some foam on your upper lip.

JESSICA: (crunches into a pretzel) I’m pretending that beer is a natural sunblock…

(laughter)

EDEN: Speaking of stones, these warm river rocks feel like heaven, lined up on my spine. I don’t know much Latin, but I’ll never forget that SPA is an acronym for Salus Per Aquam … ‘health through water!’

(laughter)

JESSICA: Have either of you been here before?

HARPER and EDEN: Nope.

EDEN: Have you always lived here, Jess?

JESSICA: (pauses) Well… I did have a short stint in the city of San Pedro Sula, in Honduras.

HARPER: Honduras? That sounds exciting. What compelled you to move there?

JESSICA: (grimaces) I’ll say because of my job. Can we leave it at that?

EDEN: Sure. (touches Jessica’s hand gently) I can see it was painful for you. If you want to talk about it at any time, you can trust us.

JESSICA: Thanks…well, what about you, Eden? Are you a born ’n’ bred Coloradan?

EDEN: No, I was born in Baltimore. My brother and I moved in with our paternal grandparents after our mom and dad, um, died.

HARPER: (whispers to Jessica) Nate told Connor that they were killed during a robbery.

JESSICA: Cal and his confidences. (rolls eyes) He never said a word! Sorry if I opened an old wound, Eden.

EDEN: You didn’t. It happened ages ago. I prefer to dwell on how good life is now. (smiles) And what about you, Harper? Are you a native DC-er?

HARPER: Almost but not quite. I was born in Maryland, but my family moved to DC when I was still young. I grew up in DC, went away to college, and eventually ended up back there when I got my newspaper gig as a restaurant critic. But after I was fired – a story for another day! – I left the city to spend some time with my younger sister, Tessa. She inherited our grandma’s cottage in Findlay Roads. That’s how I ended up in the town…and working for Connor.

JESSICA: A restaurant critic? Now I know who to call if I’m looking for recommendations. Seriously, though, we’re going to have to get together again soon. I’d love to hear more about that, and also about what it’s like working for your guy. (grins) I couldn’t imagine working for Cal.

EDEN: (rolls onto back; massage stones clatter to the ground) Oops. Hope none of ‘em cracked! So Jess, I’m curious: How did you meet Cal?

JESSICA: It wasn’t under the best circumstances. You heard about that earthquake that happened here a while back? (Eden nods; Harper shakes her head) In brief, it was a big one. 7.6 on the Richter scale I was working as a trauma surgeon at Ocean Crest Hospital at the time. I was dispatched to head up triage operations at near the earthquake’s epicenter. Cal—I think I mentioned that he’s works for the SDPD K-9 unit and specializes in search and rescue. Well, he and his police service dog, Scout, were tasked with finding survivors in the collapsed buildings. This is another long story for another day, but the short version is that he was injured saving Scout. I triaged him.

EDEN: Your turn, Harper. How’d you meet Connor?

HARPER: (winces) Well, the first time we actually met was when I applied for a job at his restaurant. Neither of us realized at first, though, that I’d critiqued his first restaurant pretty harshly during my time as a food critic.

EDEN: Ouch! I bet that made the sparks fly!

HARPER: Oh, yeah. It wasn’t pretty. But either out of desperation, or a chance at revenge, he still offered me a job. It was a little rocky for a while, but somewhere along the way, we realized we couldn’t live without each other. And then there’s Molly, his daughter. That little scamp somehow managed to worm her way into my heart even before I fell for her dad!

JESSICA: That brings us to you, Eden. Tell us how you met that handsome cowboy of yours…

EDEN: I wanted the boys to get some fresh air and sunshine, and find out what it was like to ‘work’ a ranch. I’d read an article about Nate in Sports Illustrated. It said he’d been forced to give up pitching in Baltimore after the horrible car wreck that killed his fiancé. I figured any guy who’d survived all that could handle those kids, so I gave him a call. (shrugs) And the rest, as they say, is history.

HARPER: (nodding) Seems everybody came into these relationships with some baggage, didn’t they?

(sighs)

EDEN: But all that’s in the past now. We have the guys (lifts beer mug), good friends, and sunshine. Who could ask for more? Well, except maybe a refill on these pretzels…

JESSICA: Sorry, but I really want to loop back to you working for Connor, Harper. What do you do and what is your favorite thing about working for him?

HARPER: I help him manage the restaurant. You know, it’s funny because Connor and I can butt heads almost as much as we agree. But we’re a team, and we both know that we only want the best for each other and the restaurant. So even when we’re disagreeing, we’re in agreement, if that makes sense. I had never had that in any of my previous relationships—someone who challenged me but supported me at the same time.

JESSICA: And your least favorite?

HARPER: (groans) Trying not to gain too much weight! Connor is always asking me to taste test his recipes and give my opinion. It’s kind of tough because I love food…and I love Connor, so how can I say “no”? Besides, just between us, I’m really touched that he values my input so much, especially considering how I criticized his cooking the first time I tried it.

(Harper and Jessica both glance at Eden)

JESSICA: Look at her, pretending to be asleep so we won’t ask her what she loves and hates about her job!

(laughter)

EDEN: I’m just resting my eyes.

(more laughter)

HARPER: Did you think we were kidding? You’re not getting off Scot-free!

(laughter)

EDEN: Well, I love knowing that my work is making a difference in the boys’ lives. Even the few who go astray…I hope they learned something from their Latimer House experience that’ll come in handy somewhere down the road. As for what I hate? (sighs) I hate that I can’t help them all. That I can’t help a whole lot more of them.

HARPER: Whew. We are deep, aren’t we!

(laughter)

EDEN: Here’s something to put a spin on the conversation: What’s your favorite thing about Cal, Jessica?

Cal Palmer from When the Right One Comes Along

JESSICA: Oh, gosh, there are so many things…once I really got to know him. Top of the list is how deeply he cares about others, whether two- or four-legged.

And since I have a feeling your next question will be what’s my least favorite thing about him, I guess I’d have to say he can be stubborn.

EDEN: (turns to Harper) And you? What’s your like-don’t like take on Connor?

HARPER: Somehow, he always manages to weasel out of doing the dishes! He says the chef shouldn’t have to clean up. (rolls her eyes but then pauses, thoughtfully) But that’s such a small thing compared to everything else I love about him. He’s always considerate, especially where the restaurant is concerned. He doesn’t make decisions without me, even when he knows I’ll disagree with what he wants. He says we’re partners, both in business and in life, and he’s not going to do anything to jeopardize that. I love how he puts me first in every situation.

Connor Callahan from Harper's Wish

And don’t think for a minute your ‘I’m just resting my eyes’ thing is gonna work this time, either! Give it to us straight about Nate!

EDEN: She’s a poet…

(together, all three say) …and knows it!

(laughter)

HARPER: We aren’t that easily distracted, you know…

EDEN: I like how tightly he holds onto what he loves. Everything, from family to his horse, Patches, to the Double M Ranch. I admire his stubbornness. The man doesn’t know the meaning of the words ‘give up’!

Nate Marshall from Sweet Mountain Rancher

Ironically, (rolls eyes) that’s what I like least about him, too. Once he sets his mind on something, he’s like a puppy with a bone. (smiles) And yet, if he hadn’t been stubborn, we wouldn’t be, well, we!

JESSICA: It looks like our time is up today. We’ll have to do this again, maybe at the Double M.

HARPER: And again, in Findlay Roads!

* * *

If this post has you wishing for some ‘get away from it all’ time, enter our giveaway. You can win a Grilling Creations BBQ Gift Basket, valued at $100 plus a copy of each of our three books!



Heartwarming Heroes Grilling Creations Gift Basket & Three Novel Giveaway
The contest runs until November 1, 2015. Be sure to check back here on November 13th when we announce the winner!

Until next time, this is Kate, Cerella and Loree, all wishing you a wonderful mid-October!


***

About Loree:
With nearly 6,000,000 books in circulation, best-selling author Loree Lough's titles have earned numerous 4- and 5-star reviews and industry awards. She splits her time between her home in Baltimore and a cabin in the Alleghenies (where she loves to show off her “Identify the Critter Tracks” skills). The release of Sweet Mountain Rancher (#2 in the “Those Marshall Boys” series for Harlequin's new Heartwarming line) brings Loree’s number of books in print to 105! Loree loves to hear from her readers and answers every letter, personally. Visit her at Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and www.loreelough.com!


About Cerella:

CERELLA SECHRIST lives in York, Pennsylvania with two precocious pugs, Darcy and Charlotte, named after Jane Austen literary characters. Inspired by her childhood love of stories, she was ten years old when she decided she wanted to become an author. These days, Cerella divides her time between working in the office of her family’s construction business and as a barista to support her reading habit and coffee addiction. She’s been known to post too many pug photos on both Instagram and Pinterest. You can see for yourself by finding her online at www.cerellasechrist.com. Harper’s Wish is her third Harlequin Heartwarming novel.


About Kate:


Kate spent much of her childhood abroad before attending university in Canada. She built a successful business career, but her passion has always been literature. As a result Kate turned her energy to her love of the written word. Kate's goal is to entertain her readers with engaging stories featuring strong, likable characters. Kate has been honored with numerous awards for her writing. She and her husband, Ken, enjoy traveling and the outdoors with their beloved Labrador Retrievers. Connect with Kate on her website, Facebook or Twitter.

* * *
Last  but not least . . .


Fall in Love this Fall
October Heartwarming Releases Giveaway

Congratulations to the giveaway winners!!


Grand prize: FALL GIFT PACKAGE: Includes handcrafted blanket out of premium yarns, hand-painted one-of-a-kind teapot, set of four coordinated magnetic bookmarks (matches the blanket), and assorted teas and hot chocolate. ALL FOUR October Heartwarming releases.

Congratulations: Karrie Millheim

Two second prizes: ALL FOUR October Heartwarming releases in print.

Congratulations: Darlene Holley and Jackie Morris

Sincere thanks to everyone who entered!

* * * 

66 comments:

  1. Loved seeing our gals together, ladies! And I know I'm gonna love seeing how readers respond to them, too! Here's hoping all of you have a terrific week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wonder if we can manage a furry, four-legged characters get-together edition?? :-D

      Delete
    2. Now that would be awesome! Let's put our heads together and talk about it! :-)

      Delete
    3. Thanks, Loree! I agree, it's so cool to see all our heroines hanging out! And Kate, I like this idea of a pet post! ;)

      Delete
  2. My favorite meal to share with friends is steak on the grill accompanied by corn on the cob and some crispy onion rings. Thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for sharing, Linda. These comments always make me hungry! :-)

      Best wishes with the giveaway!

      Delete
    2. I want to be your best friend, Linda, so I can have some of those crispy onion rings. :D Good luck with the giveaway!

      Delete
  3. The spa on the beach drew me in. I think we Heartwarming authors ought to do something fun like this at RWA in 2016. What say you?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. (raises hand) Count me in, Pamela!

      Delete
    2. If you're makin' a list of interested authors, count me in! One of the most thoughtful gifts Larry gave me was a spa day...that included my oldest daughter. A whole day of pampering, good food, and even wine. Oh Larry...? Larry...? hehehe

      Delete
    3. I'm there for a spa day at RWA 2016! Let's do this! :D

      Delete
  4. What a fun post, ladies! Although your heroines are lovely, I had a difficult time peeling my eyes off of those heroes. Yowza!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, that's the way it ought to be!!

      Thanks, Jill!

      Delete
    2. Yeah, we're kinda fond of these guys, too. Just don't tell our fellas... LOL

      Delete
    3. I have the same problem, Jill! ;)

      Delete
  5. Replies
    1. It's tempting to join them, isn't it, Beth?

      Have a great day!

      Delete
    2. That's us, Beth! And you're only seeing a small sampling of how fun we are... Just wait until you read our books! hehehe

      Delete
    3. Great post. I love getting together with a baked lasagna, fresh Italian bread and salad if I'm hosting. If not lots of beverage and tons of snacks. :)
      Carol L
      Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

      Delete
    4. Great post. I love getting together with a baked lasagna, fresh Italian bread and salad if I'm hosting. If not lots of beverage and tons of snacks. :)
      Carol L
      Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

      Delete
    5. I love lasagna, Carol, so this sounds like a wonderful meal with friends to me. Good luck with the giveaway!

      Delete
  6. I was to join your girls at the SPA. (And thanks for that tidbit of knowledge.) Is there really such a spa in San Diego? If I do get to come, we have to all go there. I'm more of a wine and popcorn woman (nothing snobby, just don't like the taste of beer) or cheesecake anytime. Fun conversation, Ladies, and the thought about the dogs chatting, Kate, is brilliant. I'd love to read that. Have you seen that dog food commercial where the dogs talk? It's hilarious.
    Happy Day, Everyone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good grief. I WANT to join your girls . . .

      Delete
    2. Hmm....the next RWA conference is in San Diego. We might have to see what's available...all in the name of research, of course. My undergrad degree is in Engineering but, unlike most engineers (at least at my university), I never developed a taste for beer. I'm with you with the wine, Muriel.

      Loree and Cerella are both so creative, I bet they could come up with a four-legged character get-together!

      Delete
    3. Rumor has it we're going to have a spa day at the next RWA conference. I'll see you there, Muriel! :-)

      Delete
    4. Muriel! I love the wine and popcorn combo! :)

      Delete
    5. How about wine and chocolate??

      Delete
    6. Hum...I've never tried that, Kate. :)

      Delete
    7. I'm not a fan of beer either, Ladies, but I think we could find something else to substitute and still have plenty of fun! :)

      Delete
  7. What a fun post, this helps make the heroines seem so real. Loved looking at the pictures of Cal, Conner and Nate! I am also thrilled to see that I was a second place winner in the contest!! Thank all of you so much, I will love reading all of these books :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We're glad you enjoyed the post. We had fun preparing it.

      Congratulations and happy reading!!

      Delete
    2. Congrats on your win, Darlene! We hope you'll enjoy the prize! Thanks for stopping by, and please, come back soon...and again, and again! Have a lovely week!

      Delete
    3. Congratulations, Darlene! And I'm with you - I think these posts bring our characters alive even more. They're so much fun!

      Delete
  8. Nice job ladies and congrats to the winners!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Jennifer.

      I have to ask . . . is that your wedding picture? If so, wow! That's a stunning dress, and you look wonderful together!

      Delete
    2. Yes, we send our congratulations to the winners, too! Here's hoping everyone has a wonderful week!

      Delete
    3. Thanks, Jennifer! And don't forget to enter the BBQ giveaway - that one's still going on!

      Delete
  9. Yes Kate that is my wedding picture 18 years ago and minus 4 boys. I might scare you now. :):)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh.... that sounds like subject matter for a Heartwarming story!

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    3. Kate, That would be funny and cool at the same time. :):):) I tried putting smiley faces and it came out question marks so I deleted it.

      Delete
  10. My favorite meal to share with friends is homemade Chicken and Biscuits.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for commenting, Jewel.

      Best wishes with the giveaway!

      Delete
    2. Sounds perfect, Jewel! Good luck with the giveaway!

      Delete
    3. LOVE chicken and biscuits! But then, I love beef and biscuits, and pork and biscuits, and... (See there? That's why I'm a Lifetime Weight Watchers member: I love biscuits!) Much luck to you in the giveaway, and thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  11. Better late than never I say. Love those heroines chatting about their guys. Alas I wish I had 8 sets of eyes so I could read all of these books at once!! Really great post ladies, I truly enjoyed reading it. Such fun.
    And congrats to the giveaway winners. ( :

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's never too late, Laurie! Thank you for stopping by.

      Just to complicate matters for you, if you haven't already read Loree's ONCE A MARINE, the first book in the series, it received the coveted "Top Pick" from RT Book Review. It's a must read! :-)

      Delete
    2. Thanks, Laurie! We always appreciate your support. And whoo hoo, Loree, for that Top Pick! :D

      Delete
    3. Hi Laurie! We're happy that you stopped by! Thanks so much for the plug, Kate...I owe you a big squishy hug!

      Delete
    4. I believe it Kate! Once a Marine was awesome!

      Delete
  12. Anything Easy So I can spend time with my friends and family.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a good answer, Marsha. It's not really about the food, but the people you share it with. :) Good luck with the giveaway!

      Delete
    2. Life is crazy enough, right, Marsha? So we prefer 'easy' to difficult any day, too! Thanks for stopping by! Wishing you a great rest of the week and luck in the giveaway!

      Delete
  13. Homemade Beef Veggie soup, crusty Italian bread, shredded mozzarella/smoked provolone cheese to sprinkle on top of each bowl.....yummy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, I'm definitely hungry now, Jackie. lol This sounds like an amazing meal! Good luck with the giveaway!

      Delete
  14. PIZZA! :) Any excuse is my motto. haha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Lynn!! I'm with you 100% on that one! :D I never turn down pizza!

      Delete
  15. Love to share any meal worth my friends! We are so far away from each other that anytime we can get together is special time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can totally understand this. You know how my family is scattered, too, and just being together is so important. :)

      Delete
  16. Love to share any meal worth my friends! We are so far away from each other that anytime we can get together is special time.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Taco or pizza bar, where everyone makes their own.
    Thanks for the opportunity and good luck to everyone!!
    (If this publishes more than once, please accept my apologies as BlogSpot does that on my computer quite frequently for some reason!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No worries on double comments, Robbye! I love this suggestion of the taco/pizza bar! I've done it with baked potatoes, too, and it's such a nice option for get together! :)

      Delete
  18. My favorite meal to share with friends is pizza. Delivery is great for get togethers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is an excellent point, Lourie. Sometimes, delivery allows you to just focus on the people you're with! Good idea!

      Delete