New Release- Finding Hope (Book 3 of the Matchmakers Series) by Bernadette Marie!

Finding Hope

Hope Keller has lived a perfect and peaceful life. However, she is a mystery, to herself. The one thing that would make her feel whole would be to know about her birth parents and discover who she really is.

Private investigator Trevor Jacobs has a job to do—find Hope for her biological father and get to know her without her finding out. Locating her was the easy part. Falling in love with her hadn’t been in his job description.

When Trevor is asked by Hope to help her find her birth parents he is put into a difficult situation. If she discovers he already has all of her answers it might cost him his heart—and those answers might cost Hope her life.

 Amazon     5 Prince Publishing

Excerpt:

He’d seen it all in his chosen profession. The most popular: the cheating husband. There were bosses who suspected employees were skimming the till. And like the angry wives’, the bosses’ suspicions were usually correct. A missing relative or child was just as common, but this case piqued his interest more than most.

Trevor Jacobs looked down at the manila folder on the passenger seat of his car. He tugged at his collar. The Missouri summer was warming the inside of his car to temperatures that he was sure would kill a man. He picked up the folder and flipped it open.

Finding Mandy Marlow had been a challenge because she’d disappeared when she was seventeen. That had been forty years ago.

The last time her mother had seen her, Mandy’d had a newborn infant in her arms and had come back begging for money. Ruth Marlow, Mandy’s mother, had given him the case’s scant details over the phone. His notes clearly reflected that Mandy hadn’t gone asking for a place to stay or for help with the baby. She had wanted ten thousand dollars and they had refused. She had told them she’d be living with friends. Friends who would love her and her baby, unlike her parents.

He’d finally tied Mandy to a David Kendal, a retired airline pilot living in Kansas City, Missouri.

Mandy Marlow had lived in the Kansas City area approximately seven years after she had left her parents’ house. Her DMV records showed she’d lived in a house owned by David Kendal and exactly seventeen years after she’d last been seen by her family she changed her name to Mandy Kendal. He’d searched marriage records, but he found no record that Mandy and David had actually been married. She had assumed the name through proper channels. However, their names did appear together on the birth certificates of Carissa Marlow Kendal and one Hope Katherine Kendal.

Hope Kendal had been born by cesarean moments after they had pronounced Mandy Kendal dead. She had died of heart failure and had papers that had strictly instructed that she not be revived.

She hadn’t been.

David Kendal married a Sophia Burkhalter only three weeks later. He flipped through the notes. “In a lovely back yard ceremony of the home of the bride’s grandmother Katherine Burkhalter,” the newspaper clipping had stated. Adoption records showed that Sophia, now Kendal, had adopted Carissa, then seventeen, and the newborn Hope only three months after she’d been born.

What a tidy package, he thought. Ex-lover of the dead woman shares custody of his children with his new wife. What a twisted novel plot that would make. He laughed. However, armed with the facts he had, he knew it had been that simple.

A change of heart, or perhaps a shove in that direction, had Mandy Marlow—Mandy Kendal—giving up her children and refusing to fight for her own life.

Sweat beaded on his brow. Trevor reached for his bottle of water. It had grown warm. He drank it down and tossed it into the backseat with the other bottles he’d discarded there. He knew he wasn’t the ideal patron for a car rental company.

He flipped through his notes again and stared into the face he’d become familiar with.

Hope Katherine Kendal.

She stood in a crowded room, but the camera had zoomed in on her. She’d been intrigued by something, or someone. Long blonde hair cascaded behind her shoulders and crystal blue eyes watched him from the photo. She had lips that were full and just a bit pouty. The face that mesmerized from the photo had a cherubic look to her, but a super model’s features.

He knew he’d been fascinated by it too long, too many times. He’d seen it in his dreams. He’d found himself driving down the road thinking about her face.

Trevor checked his watch. He’d been sitting in the cemetery, in his parked car, for over two hours. He’d wait another two hours and then he’d move on.

But he didn’t have to wait any longer.

A blue Miata pulled up between him and the headstone that read Mandy Marlow Kendal. The beautiful blonde that he’d familiarized himself with stood there in person. He felt his heart race a little faster.

The pace of his heart was different from when he was about to confront most of those whom he’d followed. That was adrenaline. This was lust.

Hope stood just outside her car. She was dressed in jeans that rode low on curvy hips. She wore her tie-dyed shirt tucked in, giving her a look of being taller than she was. Her hair fell well down her back in a long tail.

Large sunglasses shielded her eyes, but he knew how blue they were.

She wasn’t moving. He was far enough from her he knew she couldn’t see him, but he wondered what she was thinking when she stood still on the narrow dirt road. She reached through the open window of her car and pulled out a bouquet of flowers.

Another car pulled up behind her. Trevor watched with intrigue. Carissa Kendal Samuel—he’d familiarized himself with her face as well—climbed out of her car and approached Hope.

He watched them exchange a few words and then an embrace. It was amazing how different sisters could be. Hope was fair. Her blonde hair was strikingly different from the dark hair of her sister. Carissa stood a few inches taller than Hope and her figure was straighter where Hope’s was voluptuous.

Arm in arm the sisters walked toward the grave of their birth mother. A smile crossed Trevor’s lips. Right on time.

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5 Prince Publishing Launch Day for Bernadette Marie!

About the Author: 

Bernadette Marie has been an avid writer since the early age of 13, when she’d fill notebook after notebook with stories that she’d share with her friends. Her journey into novel writing started the summer before eighth grade when her father gave her an old typewriter. At all times of the day and night you would find her on the back porch penning her first work, which she would continue to write for the next 22 years.

In 2007—after marriage, filling her chronic entrepreneurial needs, and having five children—Bernadette began to write seriously with the goal of being published. That year she wrote 12 books. In 2009 she was contracted for her first trilogy and the published author was born. In 2011 she (being the entrepreneur that she is) opened her own publishing house, 5 Prince Publishing, and has released her own contemporary titles. She also quickly began the process of taking on other authors in other genres.

In 2012 Bernadette Marie began to find herself on the bestsellers lists of iTunes, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble to name a few. Her office wall is lined with colorful PostIt notes with the titles of books she will be releasing in the very near future, with hope that they too will grace the bestsellers lists.

Bernadette spends most of her free time driving her kids to their many events—usually hockey. She is also an accomplished martial artist with a second degree black belt in Tang Soo Do. An avid reader, she enjoys contemporary romances with humor and happily ever afters.

 Website    Blog      Facebook   Twitter     Email

 

 

 

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Thank you for stopping by! I love to make new friends. Got questions or comments? Leave a comment, or connect with me online!

 

MJ

 

About Me     Twitter     Facebook    Pinterest     Google+      Goodreads     Linkedin     Email

 

 

Bernadette Marie releases the second book in her Matchmakers Series, Encore!

If you read the first novel in the Matchmaking series, Matchmakers, you have no doubt been anticipating the next book in the series. Well, the wait is over!

Encore cover

Newly unemployed concert pianist, Thomas Samuel has spent most of his adult life escaping his upbringing. He’s become an expert at hiding his feelings and remaining professional. But when he meets cellist Carissa Kendal he’s faced with one emotion he can’t escape—love.

Carissa hadn’t expected her mother to take on the art of matchmaking and she was convinced she wasn’t very good at it. Strong minded Carissa had her work cut out for her with the emotionally scarred Thomas, but love always wins in the end—or does it?

By the time Thomas realizes his past does not define the man he has become it might be too late. Big venues and scenic places might just win over the heart of Carissa and take her away from him—unless he hurries and faces the man who ruined his career and convince Carissa that every performance, even love, deserves an encore.

Amazon     5 Prince Publishing

Excerpt:

Chapter One

Her young student pulled the bow across the strings of the violin, and the sound was pure evil. Carissa Kendal winced, then quickly smiled. She’d get it in time. Eventually, they all got it if they stuck around.

The dropout rate of students was the one dark cloud over her next venture, the Kendal School of Music. It had been her dream to teach music in her own school, and she was about to dive into it. She’d hoped her mother would want to be by her side more, but Sophia still had Hope to raise. Carissa had accepted that, but to have her mother call up an old friend to help her wasn’t settling.

Did Sophia not think she’d look him up? That she wouldn’t find out who he was?

At the moment, he was nobody. Every musical endeavor he’d pursued in the eight years since the renowned tenor Pablo DiAngelo’s ensemble broke up had failed spectacularly.

Why was Sophia soft on him? Her mother’s name carried far more influence than that of the failed pianist, and it would have given Carissa’s music school all the prestige it needed.

The student pulled another evil note and snapped Carissa from her thoughts.

“I’m never going to get this,” the young girl complained with her nose wrinkled.

“You will. If you want to, you’ll get it.” She smiled encouragingly, remembering when she’d been that young girl. “You need to remember to practice the material I give you.” Carissa raised her eyebrows with the subtle demand.

“Okay. I promise I’ll be better next time.”

“And if you practice, that will always be the case.”

As her student gathered her instrument, Carissa marked off her lesson sheet and handed it to her.

They left the study of the old boardinghouse, where Carissa lived with her grandmother, and stood by the door as her student’s mother walked toward them. Carissa gave the girl a squeeze on her shoulder.

“She’s doing wonderfully. A little extra practice each day will help,” she said. “Don’t forget your peppermint on your way out the door.”

The young girl fished in the bowl for the right piece of candy as Carissa opened the front door. The violinist’s mother handed Carissa a check for the lesson.

“Thank you, Carissa. She enjoys her lessons very much.”

“I’m pleased to hear that. We’ll see you both next week.”

As the woman and her daughter descended the front steps, a man paid a cab on the street in front of the old house. He stood with his suitcase in his hand and looked her way.

He was tall and too thin for her taste, but he looked almost regal in the way he carried himself. He removed his sunglasses and stroked the wisps of dirty blond hair from his eyes. She almost didn’t recognize the man from the pictures she’d seen on the Internet.

He looked like a blond Jimmy Stewart, and her stomach did a little flip.

“Hello,” he called as he neared the house. She smiled despite her misgivings. He even walked like Jimmy Stewart.

Like most of Pablo’s ensemble, he’d always walked behind the man with the million-dollar smile, never next to or in front of him, not like her mother who had been paraded on Pablo’s arm. It was no wonder she hadn’t recognized him.

She extended her hand to him, and as his fingers enclosed hers, she gulped in air. He was strikingly handsome. She hadn’t expected that.

To have played for Pablo, as Sophia had, Thomas had to be tremendously talented. Yet would the curse that hung over his career affect her music school?

“You must be Thomas Samuel. I’m Sophia’s daughter, Carissa Kendal. I’ve heard a lot about you.”

When Sophia Kendal had said her daughter would meet him at the boardinghouse in Kansas City, he hadn’t expected she’d look like the woman standing before him. The woman before him stood erect as a dancer. Her hair fell to the middle of her back like an ebony waterfall, and her dark eyes were soft. She wore a flowing, orange blouse and a long skirt of the same orange, mixed with earthy browns that swirled around her calves when she moved.

She was mesmerizing.

“Please come in.” She stepped back through the door. Heat rose on the back of his neck as he passed by her. “My mother says you’ll be staying with us until you get settled.”

“Uh. Yes.” He felt like his tongue had swollen. “I’m sorry if I seem out of sorts. I knew Sophia for so long that to think of her as your mother, well, that’s a stretch for me.”

Carissa smiled at him again. “I was seventeen before she adopted me, so I can understand. I’m sorry you couldn’t make it out for their wedding.”

“Yes, so am I.” Had he made that wedding, he’d have made it his business to become more familiar with the dark beauty who, with the most subtle gesture of tucking her hair behind her ear, had his pulse climbing.

Guilt halted his thoughts. He should have been at the wedding because he’d promised Sophia he would be. It was just another broken promise, and he feared he would let her down again. And given his past, he had no business fantasizing about Carissa—or any woman. It could end only in heartache—or worse.

5 Prince Publishing Launch Day for Bernadette Marie!

About the Author: 

Bernadette Marie has been an avid writer since the early age of 13, when she’d fill notebook after notebook with stories that she’d share with her friends. Her journey into novel writing started the summer before eighth grade when her father gave her an old typewriter. At all times of the day and night you would find her on the back porch penning her first work, which she would continue to write for the next 22 years.

In 2007—after marriage, filling her chronic entrepreneurial needs, and having five children—Bernadette began to write seriously with the goal of being published. That year she wrote 12 books. In 2009 she was contracted for her first trilogy and the published author was born. In 2011 she (being the entrepreneur that she is) opened her own publishing house, 5 Prince Publishing, and has released her own contemporary titles. She also quickly began the process of taking on other authors in other genres.

In 2012 Bernadette Marie began to find herself on the bestsellers lists of iTunes, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble to name a few. Her office wall is lined with colorful PostIt notes with the titles of books she will be releasing in the very near future, with hope that they too will grace the bestsellers lists.

Bernadette spends most of her free time driving her kids to their many events—usually hockey. She is also an accomplished martial artist with a second degree black belt in Tang Soo Do. An avid reader, she enjoys contemporary romances with humor and happily ever afters.

 Website     Facebook     Blog     Twitter     Email

#####

Thank you for stopping by! I love to make new friends. Got questions or comments? Leave a comment, or connect with me online!

MJ

About Me     Twitter     Facebook     Google+      Goodreads     Linkedin     Email

 

5 Prince Publishing New Release- Matchamakers- Book 1 of the Matchmaker Series by Bernadette Marie!

Congratulation to Bernadette Marie and her new release! Check it out!

Book 1

Cellist Sophia Burkhalter thought ten years in Europe performing with an exclusive ensemble would have made it clear that she wasn’t a candidate for her grandmother’s matchmaking. After all, she’d walked away from the man she loved, leaving him back home in Kansas City.

David Kendal had fallen in love with Sophia, a match orchestrated by her grandmother and his aunt. However, the unexpected appearance of the daughter he never knew he had—and Sophia’s sudden, subsequent departure for Europe—thrust him into the role of single father.

Carissa Kendal has only ever wanted the best for her father. It doesn’t take long for her to realize that the very woman who broke her father’s heart might be the one to make them a real family.

Can Carissa and the women who originally played matchmaker to the duo convince them that love is worth a second try? Or will careers and past mistakes tear them apart forever before they have a chance to reconcile?

Amazon     5 Prince Publishing

Excerpt:

Sophia filed off the airplane along with the other groggy passengers. The red-eye flight to Kansas City had knotted up her stomach. What in the hell was she doing back here?

Perfect persuasion and just the right amount of guilt had gotten her on that plane. Perhaps the tightening of her stomach wasn’t the flying—it could very well be that she’d returned to the very place she’d run from ten years ago.

She’d run from a man and shattered the hearts of people she loved. The guilt stung a little deeper. She should have come home years earlier.

Sophia followed a small group of women from the plane into the ladies’ room. Exhaustion weighed down her shoulders. Within the hour, she’d be at her grandmother’s house, tucked into her childhood bed, and asleep. In the meantime, she splashed cool water on her face to keep herself alert.

She dried her face and hands and adjusted the scarf at her neck to ensure it hid the secret she kept from the world. She picked up the carry-on luggage at her feet and headed toward baggage claim.

“Sophia.”

The husky voice was soft and male and made her knees weak when she heard it. She knew that voice as well as she knew her own. The knot in her stomach returned, but this time it was like a fist in her gut.

She turned to see him standing there in his pilot’s uniform with his suitcase at his side—David Kendal, the very man she’d run from so many years ago.

He took his pilot’s hat off and revealed the dark, wavy hair that she’d once run her fingers through. It was now speckled with hints of sophisticated silver. His uniform was striking on him—just as it had always been. Even in the early morning hour, she felt her skin tingle when she looked at his broad shoulders and knew what it was like to rest her head against his chest.

“David.” His name floated from her lips in a sigh. Ten years had passed since she’d last laid eyes on him, and now he was as large as life standing before her.

“I thought that was you on the plane.” He was walking closer to her, and her trembling knees wouldn’t allow her to run the other direction.

The scent of his cologne washed over her. His dark eyes were smoky and wide as she watched him take in the sight of her.

“You look wonderful.” He stepped closer, and Sophia gripped her bag tighter and tried to swallow the ball of fear that had lodged in her throat. He gripped his hat tighter. “I’ve been following your career.”

“Really?” The muscles in her shoulders tensed. “Why?”

“Why?” He chuckled and took one more step closer, and her throat constricted. “Sophia, you’re…” He shrugged as though brushing off a thought. “You’re very talented.”

Sophia shook her head, trying desperately to remove all thoughts of him from before—of what she’d lost. She sighed. “David, it was nice to see you. I really need to get my luggage.”

She turned from him, head up, shoulders back, and strode toward the elevator, stepping in as the door closed. She leaned her head against the back wall and closed her eyes.

How was it possible that after ten years he could stir such feelings in her? Sophia took inventory of what she was feeling. There was a surge of attraction between them. Then the anger she’d felt for years accompanied the thought of him. She’d walked out on him. His betrayal was much stronger than the attraction. It had given her purpose to make something of herself. Her success as a concert cellist sprang as much from her desire to succeed as it did from a need to escape her feelings for David.

Sophia opened her eyes when she heard the elevator doors open. The small group of others who had been aboard the plane with her stood watching the empty luggage carousel go around. Sophia waited for her cello case to arrive in the oversized luggage. It killed her to have to check the instrument, but there were no other choices. It was times like this she wondered why she didn’t play the violin. She could carry that onto the plane.

Relief flooded her as a man brought her the case. She quickly opened it and examined the instrument to assure herself it had arrived in one piece.

Her trip was to last two weeks. She’d wanted to pack only one bag, but against her better judgment, she’d packed two. When the two suitcases dropped to the carousel, she pulled them off and stacked them. One hung from the other, and she slung her carry-on over her shoulder. With a grunt, she hoisted her cello to her side. She started toward the curb to collect a cab.

Footsteps clattered on the tile floor behind her.

“Sophia.”

She wouldn’t let herself turn to see him hurrying to her.

“Let me help you.”

“I travel like this all the time. I do not need your assistance.” Her voice was cold.

“I wouldn’t be a gentleman if I didn’t offer to help a lady in need.”

“A gentleman?” He’d already taken her suitcases from her and wheeled them out to the sidewalk. “Mr. Kendal, I assure you I do not need you.”

“No, you made that perfectly clear when you disappeared and left your engagement ring in the sink.” He kept walking, forcing her to follow.

“Where are you going?” She tried to keep up with him, but his long stride kept him a hefty distance ahead of her.

He pointed off into the parking garage. “My car is parked just over here.”

“Your car?” She trotted to catch up with him. “I’m taking a cab.”

“I don’t want you in a cab in the middle of the night,” he said, unwavering from his path.

She grunted and quickened her step again.

“I don’t care what you think—”

“I know.” He darted a stare in her direction.

####

5 Prince Publishing Launch Day for Bernadette Marie!

About the Author: 

Bernadette Marie has been an avid writer since the early age of 13, when she’d fill notebook after notebook with stories that she’d share with her friends.  Her journey into novel writing started the summer before eighth grade when her father gave her an old typewriter.  At all times of the day and night you would find her on the back porch penning her first work, which she would continue to write for the next 22 years.

In 2007 – after marriage, filling her chronic entrepreneurial needs, and having five children – Bernadette began to write seriously with the goal of being published.  That year she wrote 12 books.  In 2009 she was contracted for her first trilogy and the published author was born.  In 2011 she (being the entrepreneur that she is) opened her own publishing house, 5 Prince Publishing, and has released contemporary titles and began the process of taking on other authors in other genres.

In 2012 Bernadette Marie found herself on the bestsellers lists of iTunes and Amazon to name a few.  Her office wall is lined with colorful PostIt notes with the titles of books she will be releasing in the very near future, with hope that they too will grace the bestsellers lists.

Bernadette spends most of her free time driving her kids to their many events—usually hockey.  She is also an accomplished martial artist with a second degree black belt in Tang Soo Do.  An avid reader, she enjoys contemporary romances with humor and happily ever afters.

Facebook     Twitter     Website     Blog     Email

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Thank you for stopping by! I love to make new friends. Got questions or comments? Leave a comment, or connect with me online!

MJ

About Me     Twitter     Facebook     Google+      Goodreads     Linkedin     Email

#FeatureFriday: New Release! Unexpected Admirer by Bernadette Marie

For the lovers of Bernadette Marie’s series, Aspen Creek, the wait is over! The second novel in the series, Unexpected Admirer, is out today! Check it out!

Unexpected Cover

The bright lights of stardom are sometimes too bright.

Jesse Charles, the chart topping, pop-sensation has fallen head over heels in love with small town biology teacher Melissa Mathews. However, not only does their age difference worry her, she’s a widowed mother of a young son who needs her attention. But her unexpected admirer isn’t one to give up so easily. He’s willing to give up everything just to make them a family and settle in her home town—but his manager and mother have a different opinion.

Jesse will have to convince Melissa that he can be the perfect husband and father before he loses her—and loses his career over stories circulated by the easily persuaded media.

Excerpt:

A crowded arena on a weeknight was not where Melissa Mathews wanted to be. She’d spent her day teaching thirteen-year-olds the fundamentals of biology, attended a staff meeting, and drove an hour to Grand Junction. She was beat.

But when she looked over at her son, who stood next to her, his grin as big as the sun, she knew she’d recuperate. After all, it was her fault they were standing with thousands of people who chanted Jesse Charles’s name. She’d won the tickets to see the pop star on the radio. The show had been sold out for months, and she didn’t have the funds to take her son anyway.

It was a mystery to her why he even wanted to go. Jonah was a huge Jesse Charles fan, but Melissa wasn’t. Oh, he seemed to be a fine role model, but between her son playing his music morning and night and the kids at school incessantly talking about him, Melissa could care less about the man.

And the night was just beginning. No, she couldn’t have just won some general admission tickets. She won the whole package. A nice dinner at a local restaurant. Front row tickets to the show. And what would a night like this be without meet and greet passes for later.

Jonah was in heaven.

Melissa was in a teenager-fueled hell.

Jesse Charles paced back and forth in his dressing room. He’d been performing since he was ten, professionally since he was fourteen. However, stage fright was a real thing and he had it bad.

His assistant, Bryce, was busy taking notes and talking on his cell phone in the corner. He’d thought his manager would take the time to fly to Colorado to catch the show, but again, he was busy with his own, fantastic life.

Jesse let out a sigh. His career was nothing less than spectacular. He was the number one recording artist in America, and the world had taken note.

But at twenty-five, Jesse Charles was tired.

Melissa fidgeted with the backstage pass around her neck. The woman at the radio station had told her to keep it under her shirt. She’d seen people mobbed over them. It was killing Melissa to have it pressed against her skin, but the last thing she needed was to have it ripped from her neck. Jonah hadn’t been happy about tucking his in either, but he’d done it. What did it matter anyway? He was going to meet his idol. All Melissa could hope for was to be in bed before two a.m. and that maybe Friday would be quiet for the middle-schoolers she’d have to teach—but she knew better than that.

The lights in the arena dimmed, and the crowd around her went wild. She looked over at her son. An enormous smile permeated his lips. He hadn’t been so happy in a very long time. Melissa owed him this night. She put her arm around him and gave him a squeeze just as the arena filled with lights of all colors. A whine of a guitar pierced her ears, and from the center of the stage in a smoke-filled cloud, Jesse Charles emerged in all his glory.

She had to admit, the atmosphere was infectious. Girls swooned and screamed. Jonah clapped his hands and sang along with the songs she was familiar with, but she didn’t know the words. Never would she have expected to enjoy herself, but among Jesse Charles’s fans, she was happy too.

The show was loud and spectacular—and never ending.

Melissa looked down at her watch for the third time. The show was moving into its second hour, and the man hadn’t taken a break. He’d sung and danced the entire time—he had endless energy. She, on the other hand, was exhausted.

Melissa scanned the crowd. She was sure she was the only person aware of the time. She looked back up at the stage, and at that moment, she was sure her eyes connected with Jesse Charles’s. The very moment hit her.

She diverted her eyes. Certainly he was that good of a showman to make the entire audience feel as though they were the only ones in the room.

It wouldn’t be long before she’d be right in front of him, shaking his hand. But that was all for Jonah. She wasn’t interested. She was sure he’d say hello, sign a picture, and move on to the next person. Yes, that would be how it would go. She told herself there really hadn’t been any eye contact. Thousands of scantily clad girls screamed his name. If he had seen her, it was probably a look of disgust for someone so average in his crowd.

Jesse Charles went about belting out the song of the moment. He danced his way to the side of the stage, motioned to someone, and without missing a beat, he was back at center stage making the crowd go wild.

A few minutes later, Melissa felt a hand on her shoulder.

“Ma’am, would you mind coming with me?” An enormous man with a security shirt was standing next to her.

“I’m sorry,” she yelled over the music. “Did I do something wrong?”

“If you wouldn’t mind just coming with me.”

He was trying to guide her away from her seat. “My son!”

She reached for Jonah and grabbed hold of his arm and then quickly picked up their coats.

As she followed the man, another security guard stepped in behind them. Jonah moved up closer to her.

“Where are we going?”

“I don’t know.” She reached out for the man in front of her as they headed toward the side of the arena. “Sir, where are we going?”

“I’ve been asked to take you backstage.”

Melissa let out a breath. “Is this for the meet and greet?”

“No.” The guard narrowed his gaze on her.

“Oh, we have passes.” She pulled the pass from under her shirt.

“No, ma’am, this has nothing to do with that. Mr. Charles would like to sing to you. He’s requested you on stage.”

Certainly there was some kind of mistake. The radio station hadn’t said anything about getting on stage.

Her heart pounded faster than the rhythm of the song blaring thought the arena.

Jonah had grabbed hold of her hand. “Mom! He wants to sing to you!”

“I don’t like this.”

The men were leading them down a corridor The music was muffled, but as they turned the corner, she could see the stage and Jesse Charles was only a few feet in front of them, performing for thousands.

“What if I don’t want to do this?”

The security guard gave her a shrug.

Jonah stepped between them and looked up at her. “Mom, this is fun. Go.”

When did a ten-year-old tell his mother what to do? But then she noticed the glimmer in his eyes and the smile that still turned his lips up at the corners. She couldn’t let him down.

She handed Jonah her coat, straightened her clothes, and ran her fingers through the wild curls which went every which direction. This had to be some kind of a joke for the superstar. What a mother wouldn’t do for the joy of her child.

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What Makes a Woman Independent?

(This was originally posted on The Butterfly Memoirs Blog on 5/1/12)
Independence. It’s something everyone, male or female,  yearn for as a child, even more so when they reach their teens. High school graduates are anxious to move out of their parent’s homes and spread their metaphorical ‘wings’ as they break free of their cocoons. No longer larva, or caterpillars, they are now butterflies. The word independent has various meanings, twenty, according to dictionary.com. Yet, when it comes to the sexes, independence is a word with both positive and negative connotations, especially for women. Let’s explore a few of those meanings.in*de*pend*ent (adjective)1. not influenced or controlled by others in matters of opinion, conduct, etc.; thinking or acting for oneself: an independent thinkerPretty self-explanatory, it could go for both men and women. This is the level teens strive for when separating themselves from their parents.

2. not subject to another’s authority or jurisdiction; autonomous; free: an independent businessman 

If your self-employed, you have this mindset; you have to in order to make ends meet.

3. not relying on another or others for aid or support

This could go either way, male or female, depending on whether or not they are financially able to take care of themselves without combining their income with others (roommates; renting a room)  in order to make ends meet.

4.rejecting others aid or support; refusing to be under obligation to others

Again, this could also be a male or female. This way of thinking is about  pride not allowing them to do otherwise. Even if that means running up every credit card, or worse, becoming enraged when others offer them assistance.

5. expressive of a spirit of independence; self-confident; unconstrained: a free and independent citizen

This one, in my opinion, would be where most independent women, (those who feel there is no need for a man in their life or significant other), tend to fall.

Is this type of independence the kind every woman dreams of? Is it what they truly want out of life? Or do they feel or act that way because of what life has thrown at them? Are the daily challenges they face forcing them to take on that mentality in order to survive?

Does a woman really want complete independent from romantic attachments for the rest of her life?

That is one of the questions asked throughout the The Butterfly Memoirs Series.

In the first novel, A Heart Not Easily Broken, we meet Ebony Campbell.  She is smart, independent, and focused on reaching her goal. Since graduating high school, she has made it her life ambition to get her degree of Doctor of Veterinarian Medicine so she can get her dream job of becoming a veterinarian at the Los Angeles Zoo.  For seven years, she hasn’t allowed a relationship to distract her.

In Ebony’s Words:

“I don’t have time to get into a real relationship right now.  Finishing this last year of college is my focus. I’ve got to get that veterinarian job at the zoo, I’ve worked too hard to mess up now. Besides, I don’t need a man to take care of me. Financially. Having a nice body to lie against is a different story.”-Ebony

With that mentality, would it be possible for her to abandon that way of thinking  if the right man came along? What would he have to say or do to make her feel differently?  Buy a copy of A Heart Not Easily Broken in order to find out.  But I must say,  this is NOT your typical  romance! Life, love, tragedy, and triumph are the subject matters of my novels. But despite it all, there is a happy ending along with life lessons learned.

This  one is for all my independent ladies…Independent, by  Destiny’s Child. When you done singing and shaking your grove thing, be sure to leave a comment!

     

 

Here’s some food for thought…..
“A woman does not need a man to feel complete. Neither does she need to be single to be independent.” ~Mariluz Lozada
So, are you and independent woman? 
MJ


5 Prince Publishing Launch Day for Bernadette Marie!

Today marks the official launch of FIRST KISS, the first novel in the Aspen Creek Series by Amazon and iTunes Bestseller, Bernadette Marie! Check it out! 
First Kiss
Promises made as children have a funny way of working themselves into reality when fate is orchestrated for them as adults.
Olivia Baker wants the best life for her young son, and that meant raising him in the small town she grew up in, but where her past still haunts her and rumors drip from the tongues of the local gossips.
Cade Carter moved away from Aspen Creek the moment they handed him his high school diploma. Now a washed up ex-professional football player he’s headed back after his father’s death to settle the estate of the man he’d left and forgotten about.
The friendship Cade and Olivia shared so many years ago is just now a haunting memory. People changed and moved on. Secrets were kept and loved ones around them buried with them. But when they are thrown back together to face the reasons their friendship faltered, and forces greater than them are in charge, anything can happen with the person whom they shared their First Kiss with.
Excerpt from First Kiss:

There was a chill in the air, even in June. Cade Carter rolled the windows up on his Porsche as he began his decent into the valley. The mountains of Colorado could deliver any unprepared traveler an array of weather to cope with, and it could change without warning in a matter of moments.
Though the higher peaks still boasted snow, he’d found the entire, long and boring trip from Green Bay, Wisconsin, to be fairly dry. Cade had considered driving his Bronco to Aspen Creek, but he’d needed the speed of the sports car and Ashley had needed it to move. 
He glanced at his Rolex for the sixth time in the past half hour. He was going to be late.
Who was he kidding.  He’d had no intentions of getting to his own father’s funeral on time.  Had it not been for Ashley, he’d have blown it off all together.  But no.  The words still rang in his ears.  “You have to go.  He was your father.  He loved you.  You owe him…
Cade gripped the steering wheel tighter.  He did owe him the decency to be at his funeral, because Cade Carter had been the worst son, and he knew it.
The first sign that would alert drivers to the small town of Aspen Creek was coming up on his right.  A left would take him over the next hill to the elite ski resort town of Aspen Hills.  The road he veered down would drop him into small town hell.
As the deep groves of Aspen trees thinned he could see the small town at the bottom of the valley.  Each street was visible, the cars looked small, and the town stood there as if someone had taken a picture of it fifty years earlier, not one thing had changed.  He did see a 7-11 sign peeking above the buildings.  Corporate America had moved in. That was new. At least he’d know what the coffee tasted like.
He could see City Park in the center of town.  The grass was green.  Green’s Market had the most cars in the parking lot and Sloan’s Diner must have just finished with their lunch crowd.
Aspen Creek rolled along the sides of town and under the Rose Bridge. It was fast, unforgiving, and cold all year long.  He’d had his share of dunks in that water, some on purpose, some not. Beyond the bridge and the white rapids of the river that rushed through town with its new melt off he could see the street where he’d grown up, where his father had lived, and where he’d fallen in love as a young boy.
Cade pulled the car to the shoulder of the narrow road and slammed it into park.  He lifted his sunglasses from his eyes and rubbed them.  He hadn’t been back to Aspen Creek in twelve years.  Long had been forgotten the sentiments of home, like people knowing your name, and not because you were some famous football player, but because you were Austin Carter’s son. High school football games, swimming in Aspen Creek, and the girl next door were things a man forgot about when he was an M.V.P.
He blew out a long, ragged breath. The comforts of a sports car were limited to the power of the engine on a man Cade’s size.  He tried to stretch his legs, but to no avail.  If he didn’t get out and walk around soon he’d be paralyzed in the car seat.  Just another thing he deserved he supposed.  Career killing injuries were just another daily reminder that he was lucky to be alive, even if he now stood on the sidelines and basked in the glory of what used to be.
It was easy for the team to cut him loose when he was no longer able to perform. The position needed to be filled by someone younger and able to play. He was just a washed up has-been now who’d collected his payout.
Adjusting his sunglasses back on his face, he put the car back into drive.  He had demons to face and he’d better just get it over with.  Ashley was housesitting in Green Bay and Cade was expected back in three days.  He couldn’t imagine closing out his father’s life could take longer than that.
Olivia Baker sat in the cemetery alone, next to the new grave and sobbed.  The funeral had been small, but Austin had kept to himself for the past two years.  She wasn’t sure everyone had even heard he’d passed.  She wiped her eyes.  No, they all knew he’d died.  He’d died right in her arms and that had gotten the attention of the local gossips.
The casket had been lowered, the chairs had been collected, and now the only man she’d ever cherished lay beneath the mound of red Colorado soil with a spray of wilting flowers atop it.  It didn’t seem dignified enough.
Her jaw clenched when she looked at the few bouquets and sprays that still lingered near the grave.  Not one of them had Cade’s name on it.
Damn him anyway.
What kind of son didn’t even make it to the funeral of the man who raised him?  The kind like Cade Carter. 
The arrogant, self-centered bastard probably had some pressing football engagement and couldn’t be bothered with his father’s passing.  Some dry-cleaners probably needed him to cut their big obnoxious grand-opening ribbon with an oversized pair of scissors, and to Cade that would have always been more important than respecting his father.
Olivia noticed she’d twisted the head off a carnation at her fingertips.  She unclasped her hands and looked beyond the new grave to the one next to it.
CONNER CARTER.
Looking at the name written in stone sent chills up her spine.  She looked away.  She wondered if anyone at all had come to that funeral.  She hadn’t.  She’d been tucked away safely in Grand Junction, again, when Conner had died.  She was sure Austin had paid to bury him and had splurged for the headstone too.  And she couldn’t help but wonder if guilt over Conner’s death had in some way contributed to Austin’s death.
Just beyond the gate to the cemetery she could hear the sound of tires on the gravel.  It didn’t phase her.  Neither did her responsibilities at the bank.  Her boss Parker Woods had told her to take her time and that was what she was doing.  She was in no condition to head back to town and act professional.
Tears streaked down her face from under her dark sunglasses, and she let them fall.
The hole in her heart from Austin’s absence ached and she wondered if she’d get over her loss.  Her son Gabe would never remember the man she adored and loved.  He’d never know how much Austin Carter cherished him and loved him.
Olivia squeezed her eyes shut tight.  Would she miss Austin everyday when she looked into Gabe’s eyes and saw the resemblance?
She wiped away the tears and then noticed that the driver of the car, which had parked in the lot had walked across the gravel and stood only a few feet from her.  She did what she could to compose herself.  After all, she owed it to Austin to be gracious and welcoming to his mourners. 
Olivia pushed herself up from the ground, brushed off her black skirt, and turned toward the person standing behind her.
There was an uneasiness that settled in Cade’s gut when he saw the mound of dirt before him.  Could guilt kill a man of his stature? 
The woman who had been sitting at his father’s grave stood before him, her elegant black dress covered in dust, but she didn’t seem to mind.
He swallowed hard. “Is this Austin Carter’s grave?”
The woman shook her head more in an effort to convey disgust than to signal that he was in the wrong place.  
“Why did you even bother?”
“I beg your pardon.”
“Why show up now, Cade?  You couldn’t even give him the decency of being here on time?”
“I…” he had no answers.  Besides who was she to be criticizing him? 
Cade examined the lean, yet curvy woman in the well-worn dress who stood before him. Her hair was pulled back and dark glasses covered her eyes.  Little gold bands adorned each of her ring fingers, so she could have been someone’s wife.  Hell, he’d grown up in the town, maybe he did know her.  But still, what he did to get the funeral on time, or not, was not her concern.
“I guess you know me.  Who might you be?”
The woman opened her mouth, and then shut it again.  Instead of answering she picked her purse up off the ground and searched inside.  She pulled out a business card and handed it to him.  “I’m the one in charge of closing out your father’s estate.”
With that, she started off to the parking lot and he watched.  Back in town five minutes and he was already pissing off the women there. 
He ran his hand over the back of his neck and looked at the card as the woman sped away down the hill toward town.
Olivia Baker, Vice President Aspen Creek Bank.
His head shot back up and the air in his lungs escaped him. 
A man could drive into town, and the girl next door, whom he’d fallen in love with as a child, could hand him a card with her name on it and he didn’t even recognize her.
Suddenly the aches and pains in his leg, from his brush with death, didn’t hurt as bad when he was faced with a woman scorned and a week in small town hell.
####
BUY your copy today! www.5princebooks.com/buy.htm
Bio for Bernadette Marie:
Bernadette Marie has been an avid writer since the early age of 13, when she’d fill notebook after notebook with stories that she’d share with her friends.  Her journey into novel writing started the summer before eighth grade when her father gave her an old typewriter.  At all times of the day and night you would find her on the back porch penning her first work, which she would continue to write for the next 22 years. 
In 2007 – after marriage, filling her chronic entrepreneurial needs, and having five children – Bernadette began to write seriously with the goal of being published.  That year she wrote 12 books.  In 2009  she was contracted for her first trilogy and the published author was born.  In 2011 she (being the entrepreneur that she is) opened her own publishing house, 5 Prince Publishing, and has released contemporary titles and began the process of taking on other authors in other genres. 
In 2012 Bernadette Marie found herself on the bestsellers lists of iTunes and Amazon to name a few.  Her office wall is lined with colorful PostIt notes with the titles of books she will be releasing in the very near future, with hope that they too will grace the bestsellers lists.
Bernadette spends most of her free time driving her kids to their many events.  She is also an accomplished martial artist who will earn her conditional second degree black belt in Tang Soo Do in October 2012.  An avid reader, she enjoys most, the works of Nora Roberts, Karen White, Megan Hart, to name a few. She loves to meet readers who enjoy reading contemporary romances and she always promises Happily Ever After.
Author Contact Info:
@writesromance on Twitter

Interview with Bernadette Marie!

Today I welcome author Bernadette Marie!

Bernadette has five books that have hit the Best Sellers list on Amazon and iTunes. Here novel, The Executive’s Decision, was a finallist of the CRW’s Award of Excellence, and the winner of the RomCon’s Reader’s Crown Award for 2012. I am so happy that she’s taken time out of her busy schedule to drop by and share her new release, OPPOSITE ATTRACTION!

Every writer has their own story as to why they chose to write. What inspired you? 

First I wanted to be an actress. Somewhere I got the idea that if I wanted to be in a movie I’d just write me one. Well that turned into the love for writing, but around the same time I found the joy of disappearing into a book! Well those books were being made into mini-series an movies. So the great idea came to write books to be turned into movies. Perhaps someday the latter of that dream will come.

You are a wife and mother to Five boys, plus you do martial arts, and you own a publishing company, you wear a lot of hats. What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?  
I’m always writing, so there isn’t a very accurate way to answer this. When I’m in the middle of projects for other authors, often my own work gets put to the side, but I make sure to get a few pages done. Usually those few pages turn into a lot of pages. I’m blessed to work fast. I can weave a story very quickly. And, if I have a deadline, you’d be surprised how quick I write. But, back to the question, I try to write 300 words a day. That’s a very small goal, really, but I feel that if I at least get that much done something got done. Usually it ends up at thousands. I work around my noisy family and always have, since I was twelve. I can work under most distractions. 
 I have a purple amethyst stone that sets on my desk to encourage creativity. Do you have any special rituals you do to get ready to write? 
None. I can just sit down and write. I call it a blessing and a calling. This is what I was meant to do. 
 Are you a pantser or plotter? 
Total pantser! I have an idea in my head and it never ends up that way on paper. Usually, that is for the better. I enjoy seeing where the characters take me. 
 As writers, we often find inspiration from news events, people we know, or even our own life experiences. Do any of your stories reflect parts of your life experiences? Can you share and example?
So much of my writing comes from the strong bonds I have from the family I was born into and the family I created. At first I tried to make sure there was no one who resembled anyone, but now I find the fun in adding people into my characters. As for real life, I’m a big fan of write where you know, or what you know. For example, I write a lot of my stories in Colorado. (My newer stories.) A lot of my daily “little things” end up in books. The looks, smells, colors that surround me. Often food follows me around. Pizza toppings and chicken piccata seem to find their way into many of my books. 
 As a published author with several best sellers under your belt, do you have any advice to share with new writers to motivate them? 
Write, write, write. One book is never going to cut it so don’t stop there. While you’re polishing that book, write another. Puke it out and fix it later. Don’t edit as you go. Get that story out! Then build a readership! Go out there and find “friends” in your life and online communities. This will benefit you when you do have something to promote. 
 Are you self-pubbed, indie pubbed, or traditionally pubbed?
My first books are small press pubbed. And, basically, my newer works (2011 and beyond) are self pubbed since I own the publishing company. 
 What are your current projects? 
Where do I begin? Haha! I have the Keller Family series expanding to seven books, but it might just carry on. This fall will launch my series Aspen Creek. This will be fun because the people can keep changing in the same town. I also have a paranormal series in the works, The Last Good Bye series. So always busy. Not to mention the wonderful authors I have the pleasure of working with to launch their work as well.
**** To celebrate the release of Bernadette Marie’s new release, Opposite Attraction, 5 Prince Publishing is awarding a $10.00 Amazon gift card to one lucky commentor! Good luck! Be sure to leave you email address in order to be contacted if you win! ****
Blurb: 
OPPOSITE ATTRACTION, book 3 in the Keller Family Series:

Curtis Keller is a lucky man. He has the love and support of a family like no other. But he’s never fallen in love with a woman. He likes to play the field, have a good time, and enjoyed friends with benefits. But when wild child Simone Pierpont comes into his life for the first time he considers settling down—until she abandons him.
Simone Pierpont fell in love. She hadn’t meant to, but her best friend’s brother-in-law had treated her, the Parisian oil heiress, with more compassion than she’d ever known.  What was she to do? So she left him stranded on a yacht in the French Rivera.
Now, cut off from her father’s fortune, pregnant, and desperate to win Curtis’s heart; Simone must prove to everyone she can hold down a job and take care of herself.  Curtis isn’t sure the spoiled princess can change, but because of his caring nature he has a hard time turning her away.
However, all efforts might be for not when he learns about her pregnancy and she is forced to run back to her father. But Curtis will eventually understand and come for her—or so she hopes.
Excerpt
     Caterers moved about the house and Curtis fixed himself a plate of fruit. He’d be happier in the kitchen he decided. The reception was depressing him.
     When he lifted his head from the platters of food, he saw the reason it depressed him standing right in front of him.
     “Hello, Curtis.” Simone Pierpont’s French accent stabbed right into his heart before he choked on the grape he’d just swallowed whole.
     He coughed until he could breathe. Her eyes never wavered from him and he was sure they had bored a hole right through him.
     “Simone. I didn’t expect you here.”
     She twisted her fingers together and smiled nervously. “I’ve been out of town.”
     Didn’t he know that? He’d tried for the past two months to find her. Even his brother-in-law, Zach, who she claimed was her very dearest friend, hadn’t known where to find her.
     “You’re looking well.” He wasn’t sure what else to say. He’d been dumped by women before, but it had never hurt like this one did. Oh, she’d had him fooled. Yes, he thought there’d been a chance for something real. He’d thought it was love.
     But he had to acknowledge that there were women in the world who appreciated the art of seduction and fast steamy love affairs without stings just as men did. He just never thought he’d be the man who was used and disposed of.
     Damn her anyway, he thought.
     She took a step toward himand then stopped just short of reaching him.Her knuckles were white now and her nervousness wasn’t helping him keep calm.
     Simone bit down on her lip then shifted her blue eyes to his. “I would have called…”
     “Listen,” he set down his plate.“You don’t owe me any explanations. Zach and Regan set us up to share the evening together so we wouldn’t be alone.They didn’t tell us to,” he lowered his voice, “screw like rabbits and run off to your yacht in the French Riviera. So we had a good time. Really, who thought much of it?” He had and he fought his eyes to make sure she didn’t know how much he’d thought of it.
     “Right. It was just sex. I was hoping you would understand that.”
     “Got it.” He picked up his plate. “Well I think I’ll go see how the party is going. See ya‘round.”
     That wasn’t exactly how Simone had hoped that would go. She untangled her fingers realizing they were almost numb now.
     She deserved him to treat her like that. She’d been very forthcoming with him, over too much champagne on her yacht, that she’d bedded many men.Why she felt he needed to know that she wasn’t sure. She’d left out the hefty part of the tale though. Most of those men had been in her bed while she tried to wrap her head around the fact that Zachary Benson had never seen her as more than a sister or dear friend.
     Lucky for her, she loved him the same. She was glad he and Regan had found each other and now had a family. But that hadn’t changed her view on herself. Simone Pierpont longed for what Zach now had. Love, marriage, and a family. One piece didn’t really fit without the other.
     She sucked in a breath. Had she not made such an ass out of herself in front of Curtis and then run off without a word, stranding him on the Rivera to find his own way home, perhaps she’d have just that.
Simone ran her hands over the slim satin line of her dress, lingering only a moment on her jittery stomach.
     Well, she thought, at least she’d have some of what Zach had.

Bio
Bernadette Marie has been an avid writer since the early age of 13, when she’d fill notebook after notebook with stories that she’d share with her friends.  Her journey into novel writing started the summer before eighth grade when her father gave her an old typewriter.  At all times of the day and night you would find her on the back porch penning her first work, which she would continue to write for the next 22 years.
In 2007—after marriage, filling her chronic entrepreneurial needs, and having five children—Bernadette began to write seriously with the goal of having her work published.  That year she wrote 12 books.  In 2009,  she was contracted for her first trilogy and the published author was born.  In 2011 she (being the entrepreneur that she is) opened her own publishing house, 5 Prince Publishing, and has released contemporary titles and began the process of taking on other authors in other genres.
In 2012 Bernadette Marie found herself on the worldwide bestsellers lists of iTunes and Amazon to name a few.  Her office wall is lined with colorful PostIt notes with the titles of books she will be releasing in the very near future, with hope that they too will grace the bestsellers lists.
Bernadette spends most of her free time driving her kids to their many events.  She is also an accomplished martial artist who will earn her conditional second degree black belt in Tang Soo Do in October 2012.  She loves to meet readers who enjoy reading contemporary romances and she always promises Happily Ever After.
Where to find Bernadette Marie and connect with her:
Buy links:
Where to buy my books: