Saturday, November 7, 2015

TO LOVE AND PROTECT, born Nov. 1, 6.5 oz., 373 pages long



Hi, All!

Today I'm celebrating the birth of TO LOVE AND PROTECT, the second book in my Manning Family Reunion series.

Obviously, the idea came from the first book, IN MY DREAMS, about the return home of a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, determined to find the sisters from whom he was separated when their mother went to jail when they were children.  The siblings were sent to live with their fathers (each child had a different father) so led very different lives.  Circumstances kept them estranged from each other so, Jack Palmer, hero of book one, decides reuniting his family is the best way to pull himself together and build his life again after his war experiences.

Jack was eight when their mother went to jail, and Elizabeth Corazon Ochoa (Corie), heroine of this second book, was four.  Carrie, their little sister, was two.  Each child's life experience is completely different because of their divergent paths.  Corie's father died when she was 12, she hated her step-mother and ran away.  In foster care she found peace, but the street skills she learned early on stay with her and she's more likely to find an unconventional and sometimes illegal solution to her problems.  She's small and slight with a straight sheet of long black hair.

Jack was adopted by Gary and Helen Palmer, the parents of Ben Palmer, Jack's best friend in third grade.  When Jack finds Corie in a little town in Texas, Ben isn't happy.  He's a police officer, and he learns about her questionable response to trouble.  In fact, the day he and Jack arrive in Texas to find her, she's robbing an elegant home.  So the cop and the crook confront each other.

The cover caption would say in Ben's voice.  " Relax.  I've got you."

My favorite scene is in the second half of the book when Corie tries to right a wrong by breaking into city hall in the middle of the night.  Ben follows her, knowing she's up to something, and has no choice but to go along with her once he realizes what she's looking for will save Jack from going to jail.  But he's beside himself with exasperation and the urge to throttle her.

I love both Ben and Corie, so choosing a favorite is like picking a favorite child.  I love Corie's courage and go-to-hell approach to things, but I love Ben's heart and his stalwart support of her, no matter what.

I'm really dating myself, here (like I could hide my age, anyway, with this hair) but I'd love a young Tom Selleck playing Ben, and (I'd Google the name of the woman to play Corie, but I don't know how to get out of this program and get back safely.) the pretty, dark-haired women who played Mary Jo in the old Designing Women series for Corie.  Know who I mean?  She showed up recently on CSI New Orleans - older, but still pretty - and very petite.

Research taught me that they use completely different types of trees for Christmas in Texas than we do in the Northwest.  And one of them, the Leyland Cypress,  is hypoallergenic.  Has no sap and no scent.  (Sounds awful to me, but probably a blessing for people with allergies.)

Country music would be good for the Texas setting, but when I think of Corie, I think her theme would be that song I think Chevy uses, and also the new SuperGirl, "This is my fight song, take back my life song . . ."

This is book #92 (I think I told you that when I did this for the previous book because I was working on this one and got confused.)  It means I'm still here, but I can't deny that it's harder than it used to be when my brain actually worked.

I'm now working on Cassie's story, and for pleasure I'm working my way through that great box of Georgette Heyer books I inherited from Mary Rose.

Have a wonderful weekend, all of you.  'Chatting' with you daily brightens my life.




24 comments:

  1. Best wishes with your new release, Muriel! Ben and Corie both sound intriguing, as does the story. I look forward to reading TO LOVE AND PROTECT.

    Book #92 is a tremendous accomplishment. Congratulations!

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    1. Thank you, Kate. The numbers get bigger along with your years. Happy Saturday! The Hallmark Channel has Christmas all the time!

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  2. I LOVE To Love and Protect. Reading it was how I rewarded myself at the end of a few busy days this past week! And now that I'm thinking of Tom as Ben...

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    1. Thanks, Liz. And thanks again for the great review! Good to have friends in the right places.

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  3. Muriel, I just received my books yesterday. I can see in my future, staying up nights to read your story and the other 3 Heartwarming books, not to mention a stack of books I bought at Barnes and Noble last week. (Sigh! So many books, so little time.)

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    1. Hi, Roz. Gosh, you're going to have to give up some writing time to get them all in. No watching the Hallmark Channel for you. Happy weekend!

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  4. Looking forward to your latest book. You always brighten my day with your humor.

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    1. Thank you, Marion. And all the interesting stuff you know brightens mine. Enjoy the weekend.

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  5. Marion! My books should be on my doorstep when I arrive home from California. I can't wait to read To Love and Protect. Your Manning series started out just great. Manning is my mother's family and once a long time ago, I tried to write an historical involving the family ancestors at the Fort Mims massacre in Alabama. There were Two brothers who escaped from the Indians(Native Americans), swam down the Alabama River .. And both married later creating the Manning family. This was during the 1700's. I'm veeeery rusty on details now, but we did visit the massacre site when I was a kid. So, all that to say, I'll be reading ALL your series.. Can't wait for each one! God bless. 92?? Whew. Throw a party. Congratulations.

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    1. Goodness, Catherine! What a story. Is that somewhere in your writing future? Thanks for reading my stuff. You're supporting me in my extreme maturity (aka - old age) God Bless you, too.

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  6. Muriel, you are such a sweetheart and I am so happy for you! #92, what an accomplishment! I am serious about throwing you a party when you hit 100!

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    1. Hi, Amy. Hope that happens. I'll be the one in the tiara! Happy Weekend.

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  7. Book #92!! That's absolutely amazing. Congratulations. And ever since your post about those Georgette Heyer books you inherited, I ventured to try one and I'm hooked!! It's an audiobook called Sprig Muslin and I'm enjoying it so much. Thank you for your wonderful contributions to this blog. ( :

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    1. Oh, so happy to have introduced someone to Georgette Heyer! You will continue to be hooked. Now try to transfer some of that enthusiasm to MY books. (Ha! Just kidding.) Happy weekend, Laurie.

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  8. Oh, I can't believe it's book three. I've got to go dig out book two. Last I remember the big brother had found one of the sisters. Am I right? I'm remembering the fire….

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    1. You are right. Hope you enjoy this one. Corie was fun to create. You and Mike skydiving this weekend? Shark-hunting? Zip-lining?

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  9. Number 92! That's amazing, Muriel! I'm so happy for you. I look forward to reading about the Manning family. I've got book one on my Kindle, now to load up number two.
    Guess what? Recently, I received my first AARP magazine and Tom Selleck was on the cover! We're in good company. :)

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    1. You don't look old enough to be getting AARP! And Tom is like Sean Connery - gets better with age. Have a wonderful weekend! It's monsooning here.

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    2. Ah...bless you, Muriel. I agree, these men just get better looking with age...what's up with that? It rained in Charlotte all day, but tomorrow the sun will reappear, along with cooler temps...Monday, more rain, just in time for my morning commute. :( Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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  10. Congrats Muriel on the release of Love and Protect. I have to catch up and read them in order.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

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  11. Thank you, Carol. Each book is supposed to be able to stand alone, but it's usually a good idea to read them in order to see the whole picture. Thanks for weighing in. Happy Sunday.

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  12. Book 92! Awesome. You do like to torture your characters, don't you? Paring a crook with a cop. lol

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  13. I'm always looking for built in conflict because - to me - love is so strong, it's hard to believe that h and h don't just go for it. But, that's me. Thanks, Patricia!

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