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

#####

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

Release Day for 5 Prince Publishing Author Bernadette Marie!

Today is release day for  5 Prince Author, Bernadette Marie, and the fourth book of the popular Keller Family Series!


           

Keller Family Series Book 4
By
Bernadette Marie
Center Stage
John Forrester is a simple man whose never needed more than his work, his truck, and a small apartment with his flat screen TV. After a bad breakup with his ex-wife John swore he’d never get married again and has done his best to keep to himself. But one woman always creeps into his mind—Arianna Keller.
Arianna Keller had an amazing career, center stage on Broadway. However, her run in New York is over and circumstances have forced her back home to Nashville, Tennessee.
The relationship John and Arianna have forged over the years as friends has always had a romantic spark, which has been ignored. Now they are working together to restore an old theater and their desire for each other can no longer be denied.
It’s only a matter of time before sparks ignite into a passionate fire. But Arianna is keeping a secret which threatens to destroy more than her relationship with John—it threatens the lives of the entire Keller family.

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:
  
Excerpt from Center Stage:
     Arianna pushed down on the suitcase and forced the zipper to close. The rest of her apartment was packed and ready for movers, but she’d need all her clothes before her belongings arrived in Tennessee.
She looked around her small, New York apartment. It had been a good home to her for the past decade. She’d accomplished everything she’d wanted. When she’d moved there, it was to try her hand on the stages of Manhattan. She’d played in some dives and had worked her way up to leads on Broadway. She had a few commercials to her credit and had graced a few TV shows as an extra, but her love was still on stage. But now it was time to go home, back where her family was. Something would come together for her there.         It always did.
      Arianna looked at her watch. She had barely enough time to get to the airport. If there were any accidents backing up traffic, she’d miss her flight.
      Her brother-in-law, Zach, had called and said her sister Regan had gone into labor with the couple’s second baby. She figured she’d arrive just in time to get to hold the bundle of joy. Then in a few more weeks, her brother, Curtis, and his fiancée, Simone, would have their first child. She knew moving back to Tennessee was right, and getting to spoil new nieces and nephews was reason enough to be closer to home.
     The flight had been miserable. Leaving New York in a January snowstorm always meant delays and aggravation. It was almost eight o’clock at night by the time the flight landed two hours late. Carlos would be livid if he’d been waiting at the airport the entire time.
     She made it to baggage claim, retrieved her two pieces of luggage, and then scanned the area for her brother. There was no sign of him, or any member of her family, anywhere.
     “I thought I’d missed you,” the familiar voice behind her said.
     She spun quickly to find John Forrester, Zach’s most trusted building foreman, standing there.
     “Missed me? Were you looking for me?”
     “I have been sent to pick you up. Carlos and Madeline ended up with Tyler for the night.”
     Arianna narrowed her stare on him when he’d commented about her nephew. “I thought Mom was watching him while the baby was born.”
     “Well, it seems as though your family is going to grow quite a bit tonight. Regan is still in labor, and Curtis just took Simone in. She’s having her baby today, too.”
     Arianna gasped. “Simone isn’t due for two more weeks.”
     “Babies come when babies want to, and Emily thought she’d better be there for Simone.” He picked up her suitcases, one in each hand. “C’mon, my truck isn’t too far.”
     Who would have thought she’d get to be there for the birth of both babies in one night. God had blessed the Keller family—that was for sure. Carlos and Madeline’s kids were teenagers, and in the next few years, they would be off on adventures of their own. Eduardo, their eldest, was already working for Zach after school. Christian, their second son, was an all-star athlete—baseball, she thought. And Clara, well, Clara was a girl after her own heart. She was an accomplished musician on the acoustic guitar. And, boy, could that girl sing.
     Regan and Zach’s son, Tyler, was as anxious as any sixteen-month-old child could be for a new sibling. But Arianna figured he’d need the most spoiling from her to make everything just right.
As for her, she’d never wanted children. It just hadn’t been in her plans. Her career had always been more important. She came and went as she wanted, carried on in any fashion she saw fit, and, of course, traveled the world.
     But now Nashville, Tennessee called her back home. Perhaps she could share her talent with the world in some other way.
     John led her to his truck in the adjoining parking lot. She was comfortable with John, she thought, as she walked behind him. They had been each other’s dates to both of Carlos’s weddings last year, and they had hit it off, as friends of course. They might have hit it off more, but he was very conscious of their age difference, even though she wasn’t worried about the thirteen years between them. His ex-wife had burned him badly ten years ago, and it was clear he didn’t trust any woman.
     Not that she’d been looking for a man, but she often thought if John hadn’t been so worried about everything, they might have had something. As it was, they could keep each other’s company comfortably. Coming home with all her brothers and her sister being married, that might just be what she needed—someone to keep her company.
     John’s truck was probably one of the most beat up pickup trucks she’d ever had the displeasure of riding in, and she’d been born and raised in Tennessee—she knew bad pickup trucks. But that was John’s character. If it still worked, there was no need to replace it.
     He backed out of the parking lot and headed toward the highway. Also common with John, he didn’t have much to say unless you started the conversation.
     “So, how is the construction business?” she asked.
     “Zach keeps me busy. That’s for sure.”
      “I’ll bet. Do you think he’ll take some time off after the baby is born?”
      John laughed. “Sure he will. He will work from his office at home.”
      Arianna followed suit and laughed too. That sounded like her brother-in-law.
     She watched as John merged lanes. His tanned skin showed the many years that he’d worked in the elements. The deep lines around his eyes never made him look old, she thought, only distinguished. Arianna liked her men distinguished. Age on a man had never bothered her. Oh, if her parents knew about some of the men she’d dated in New York, they certainly might have had an opinion on the matter.
     She must be feeling the pang of needing someone to connect with, she decided, because the thought of running her fingers through John’s salt and pepper shaded hair was almost irresistible. But she denied herself the pleasure. He probably wouldn’t take too kindly to the lunatic sister-in-law of his boss making a move on him.
     The long flight and drive out to the hospital must have worn her out more than she’d thought. She woke to John’s hand on her arm.
     “We’re here. If you hurry, you might not miss the show.”
     She rubbed her eyes. “Aren’t you coming in?”
     “Not my place to be. But I’ll drop your bags off for you. I assume you’re staying at your place?”
     She nodded. One of the perks of keeping your house when you moved away, especially if you knew you’d be back. “Yes. Of course.”
     “That was a sound business decision to keep the house and rent it out. Benson, Benson, and Hart keep good care of it.”
     “I wouldn’t expect anything different. I know I have a renter in the basement, too. Hope they don’t make too much noise. I’m a day sleeper.”
     John smiled. “Oh, he’s a good guy. He won’t bother you.”
     Arianna nodded and looked up at the hospital where her brother worked as an emergency room doctor.           
     “Guess I’d better go meet the newest members of this crazy family.” She slid across the seat and placed a kiss on John’s unshaven cheek. “Thanks for the ride. I’ll take you out for pizza and a beer.”
     “Never could turn down a woman who offered up pizza and beer.”
     She opened the door and climbed out. He was just her kind of man.
     The waiting room was full of Kellers, including Carlos and Madeline, who held a sleeping Tyler.
     Carlos stood and greeted her with a hug when she walked into the room. “I thought you were babysitting him so he didn’t have to hang out here.”
     “C’mon, what’s better than meeting your baby brother or sister in the middle of the night and knowing this is the kid you get to beat on for the rest of your life?”
     Arianna laughed as Clara rushed over and hugged her. “Auntie, I have a new song for you. I wrote it myself.”
     “And I bet it’s the best song ever.”
Arianna pulled her niece to her side. This was just what she’d needed—her family.
     John opened the door to Arianna’s house. He supposed he’d have to relinquish his key now that she was home. He shut the door and carried her bags to the bedroom at the top of the stairs. He didn’t open the door. He knew it was empty, but still, it was her bedroom.
     The house was dark and quiet; he’d miss that too. There hadn’t been a renter upstairs for months; he’d had the house to himself. Oh, he kept to himself downstairs in the little apartment in the basement, but he’d enjoyed using the front door access and the kitchen from time to time. There was a grill on the back porch, which offered the perfect view of the sunset. He was sure Arianna wouldn’t mind him cooking a steak or two for her, just for access to the porch.
     John grabbed a beer from the refrigerator as he passed through the kitchen. He figured he’d better get his plugged in downstairs. It had been a saver on electricity since the one he had in his kitchen was old, and Arianna’s kept the beer colder.
     He started down the stairs to his little apartment. The door locked from her side, which kept the renters out of the house. He’d taken liberty with that since the house was empty, but certainly he wouldn’t disrespect that rule when she came back home.
      His small apartment was just the right size. He was a simple man who didn’t need much—and who didn’t have much since his ex-wife took everything he’d ever had. Ten years after she’d left him for another man, he still wondered what he’d ever seen in her. Well, he’d never make that mistake again. Women just weren’t worth it. Most women, he corrected himself. His mind had been preoccupied with one woman in particular for months. And now he faced the dilemma of knowing she’d be living only feet from him.
     The last thing he wanted was a relationship—platonic or just sexual. Relationships had never brought him anything but grief.
     John sat down on his Lazy Boy recliner and turned on his big screen, flat panel TV. A man had to have his luxuries. He pulled from his imported beer and thought life was good.
     But only a moment later, his mind wandered to Arianna. With her hair piled atop her head, her eyes dark from lack of sleep, and her ripped jeans, she’d still stirred him up more than he’d have liked.
     Beer and pizza sounded like a great idea, but he wouldn’t take her up on the offer until he knew they’d cemented their relationship as landlord/renter and friends—only friends.
  ####