Princess shoes, Dutch braids, Gowns...and Tears

Let me say right off the top that I won't be around to reply to your comments as much as I want to. I made a commitment twelve years ago that I can't get out of. Yep, my daughter's high school graduation. So even as you read this--unless you are on the East Coast--I'm going to be crowded into an indoor pavilion with roughly four hundred graduates, their parents, grandparents, siblings, teachers, volunteers and official photographers. For the next two to two-and-a-half hours the graduates will each take their turn to cross the stage while a baby picture is flashed on a screen, and the principal announces the graduate's future plans. And then there's the evening banquet including speeches and a Grand March, a short dance and then her all-nighter dry grad party.

So, I wasn't in the head space a week ago when writing this to talk about my June release, Building a Family, until I realized that my heroine, Connie Greene, would most definitely like to talk about my daughter's grad. Connie is all about fresh starts and bling. So please join Connie and me as we chat about my daughter's upcoming grad.

M. K.: I'm a little queasy about posting my daughter's current pic on social media, but I couldn't resist previewing the one I submitted for the morning ceremony:

My 17-year-old daughter at six months

Connie: Oh my--she's so, so cute. And in pink. Pink's my go-to color when life gets me down.

M. K. : So...have you been wearing lots of it lately?

Connie: My fair share. Then again, I've no one to blame but myself. I had a decent job, great family, an absolutely-to-die-for boyfriend and I blew it. Now, I have to make it right before I can even begin to look myself in the eye. Her cap and gown, I take it?

M. K.: Yes, she has a cute little red dress to wear under it and if you look closely on the tassel, you can see a 2018--

Connie: Oh, oh, is this her dress?

M. K.: Mmhmm. The pics don't really capture how much the top glitters. 


Connie: Looks gorgeous! Where did you get it?

M.K.: Online at PromGirl. I know it sounds weird to buy a fancy dress online but it fit her to a 'T' and the price was way right.

Connie: Don't apologize to me. I got my maid-of-honor dress for my brother's wedding online. I couldn't afford to pay too much but I didn't want to look bad for Seth or...well, Ben, either.

M.K.: Ben's your guy. 

Connie: Not exactly. I mean he could be if I wanted that but I don't want least, not yet. I think. Anyway, he was the best man at my brother's wedding. Those two go way back, as far back as Ben and me, actually.

M.K.: You were childhood friends?

Connie: Since I was eight and Ben was twelve, and then we dated and then we didn't and now we're...hey, is that a shoe box there below the dress?

M.K.: Uh-huh. They are my daughter's pride and joy. She loves her dress, but she ADORES her shoes. What do you think?

Connie: I want, I want, I want. And her hair? What's the plan?

M.K.: Off to the hair dresser for that. She has long, blonde hair like you, so I'm thinking a side Dutch braid and then big soft rolls in an up-do.

Connie: But what does she want?

M.K.: She doesn't even know. She's never been into fashion. And doesn't really try to impress others.

Connie: She sounds like Ariel.

M.K.: Your...well, not really your daughter and not really your ward.

Connie: My former best friend's daughter. A teenager, too, except she's just fifteen. And boy, I was like her when I was her age. No, I was worse because she's justified to act out the way she does.

M.K.: And how does Ben feel about Ariel?

Connie: Let's not talk about that. Does your daughter have plans for the fall?

M.K.: Yes, biological studies.

Connie: Good for her. I thought about being a nurse but now, I don't know.

M.K.: What interests you?

Connie: Let's not talk about that, either. How about you? What are you wearing? 

M.K.: A dress I scored at a second-hand shop for $18 bucks.

Connie: Show me.

M.K.: A true lady never reveals her secrets. Anyway, I'm afraid it won't go with my huge, tear-stained face which I just know I'll have! 

Connie: You think you're going to be the only one blubbing away? Come on, show me.

M.K.: Instead, how about we tell others a little bit more about you.

Connie: Whatever. You writers always get your way, anyway.

M.K.: Connie, you have no idea how you have messed with my head.

A little bit more...

The best man in the world wanted to marry her...But she couldn’t say yes…yet!

Most girls dreamed of the day someone offered them a ring. Not Connie Greene. She couldn’t even open the box. She did care for Ben Carruthers—always had, always would. But she couldn’t marry him until she’d made amends for the wrongs she’d committed. Until then, she had to protect Ben from himself. And most important, from her.

Available June at all major online distributors.

(Garish pink brought to you by Connie): Have a great weekend, everyone! Please share your favorite grad stories. I hope to keep this blog as a memory piece for my daughter and would love for everyone (authors AND readers) to be a part of her--and yeah, okay, my--special day.

Come see me at 

or  FACEBOOK (where this early bird review of BUILDING A FAMILY appears)

Just loved reading Connie and Ben's story. Previously in "A Roof Over Their Heads" I did not care for Connie one bit (great writing) but getting to know her through this story shows a side that seems tough but hides a soft heart. I love the flow of the book as it goes through Connie's life as well as more on Ben's background and that of Ariel who comes to live with Connie after her mom passes away. The suspense that is covered by Trevor and Brother also fit in so well to the story and shows Connie how much she needs Ben and that his feelings are true. The Polar dip had me laughing so hard as I was picturing Connie in that costume, I think we can all see ourselves in over our heads, lol.
The story just grabs you from the beginning and makes it hard to put down. I tell everyone, yes this is a love story BUT it has a great story with it!
The story just grabs you from the beginning and makes it hard to put down. I tell everyone, yes this is a love story BUT it has a great story with it!

Karen Mcnicol


  1. M.K.!! Where to start? I loved this creative intro to your new release and Connie sounds like a real character, one I want to learn more about. Most of all, congrats to your daughter, whose prom dress is lovely and I can picture your tear-stained face later today as she receives her diploma. Enjoy the day....special memories....and all the best with “Building a Family”!

  2. M.K. the book is next up in my TBR stack. Sending big congrats to you, your family and especially your daughter.

  3. Loved it!!!! I go to graduations every single year (teacher me). Baby pictures are the best. My baby is 13 and going into 8th. I'm gonna blink and he'll be there (please, please, please)

  4. Congratulations, Mom! What a gorgeous baby she was! I love all the fashion choices your daughter has made, and the choice of study as well. As for Connie, after the last story, it's going to be tough to warm up to her, but I can't wait to see how you turn her around. I love redemption stories.

  5. A great interview, and congratulations to the graduate and her mother!

  6. Thank you all for your comments. So far: She lost the tassel on her cap before she left our vehicle; mom found it; she lost her cap when she tossed it in the air; mom tracked down another one. Now I'm off to the hairdressers to get her and her prom-do!

  7. I graduated High School went to college right after but got wrapped up in being a young wife and dropped out. I eventually went back and got my degree in business. I didnt get a party or anything. I worked for 3 years (I didnt take summer breaks or anything to finish a year early). I believe it is a big accomplishment.


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