DISCLAIMER: Surgeon General declares this storyline will draw you in and keep you up late at night, possibly leading to fatigue the following day. Some readers have complained it made them burn the family dinner and fall asleep at their desk!
For the Month of February
“The characters make smart choices, because the drama is generated from actual events not manufactured from emotional outbursts. Plus, the dialogue and characters were spot on. I will read more of this author in the future.” — Musings & Ramblings Review
“This was a great 5 Star Read!” — Harps Romance Book Review
“This engaging romantic story is full of witty dialogue which keeps the story fresh and fun. Yet, it has enough action and drama in it to keep the story solid.” — The Kindle Book Review
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Read an excerpt from the book:
To: Adam from Hawaii
From: Poppy Reagan
Subject: Don’t do drugs, kids.
Here to bring you today’s entertainment. So, my latest computer date was supposed to be a successful marketer. At least that’s what his profile indicated. He instead decided to visit an Ashram last week, and while there, apparently found the meaning of life through yoga and wacky tobacky. He’s quit his job, and while craving the munchies, decided to take me to a well-known eatery called … El Taco Bell. Yes, that’s right he offered to take me to the Bell, the place with the Chihuahua ads.
Adam, you know me. Do I look like the type of woman you should take, on a date, to the Taco Bell? I didn’t think so. Here’s the embarrassing part, I was actually buying his guru-intellectual-life-affirming crapola until I realized his serenity came from too many tokes from the bong. That’s it. I’m off computer dating and plan to start having my friends set me up with normal people.
To top off this fun-loving week, my mom announced she’s coming in for a visit after my trip to Denver. I’ve told you a little about her. I’m worried this is the beginning of her next divorce and all the accompanying drama that goes along with it. Ugh!
Looking forward Denver and connecting with a normal human being. I’m packing my Chanel No. 5, red panties and nothing else.
It’s Here! Woot! The new cover for Planning for Love! Available January 26, 2015!
California party planner, Poppy Reagan is a Type A personality who runs her professional life with the precision of a Swiss watch. Unfortunately, her personal life is the pits. On Valentine’s Day she walks in on her boyfriend playing hide the snake with a 20 year old. This isn’t the first boyfriend to cheat on her, and with her 33rd birthday approaching, Poppy decides it’s time to take her dating life as seriously as she does her business. She swears off the bad boys she’s normally attracted to, and strategically maps out a plan to find an honest, nice-looking man to become her life partner.
As she works her way through a string of hilariously bad dates, she begins to wonder if her soul mate actually lives in California. Her foolish emotional spirit secretly yearns for the sexy Ohio dermatologist who she met on a trip to Hawaii last year. The one who she insists is “just a friend,” because she refuses to engage in a long distance relationship. Can the good doctor convince her heart to over-rule her head and move this California girl to the mid-west?
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The peace was interrupted by my cell phone ring, and I answered automatically without looking at the caller ID. “Hello, Hartland Interior Designs.”
“Sophia, luv, is that you?” The sexy Irish accent played across the phone lines, sending shivers down my spine. My chair slammed back down onto four legs, and I promptly dropped the phone.
Crap! “Ian! Just a minute!” I fumbled, shoving the chair back, and scrambled to get the cell, which had skidded along the hardwood floor underneath my desk. Sirius, my black Lab, sensing a game, jumped up to get in on the action. Tail wagging and barking, he thrust under the desk next to me in search of the toy. “Ian, I’m coming! Minor technical difficulties. Don’t hang up!” I shoved Sirius back, taking a few excited licks along the way, and finally found the red mobile in the far corner behind the wastebasket. “Hello, are you still there?” I held it to my ear. Fortunately, it hadn’t landed upside down and hung up on him.
“Still here, luv.”
As I clambered out from underneath the desk, I came up too early and cracked my skull on the underside. “Oof!”
“Is everything okay? Maybe I should ring back later.”
“No, no. It’s fine.” When did my life turn into a Lucy skit? Rubbing my head, I gave up trying to play it cool and decided to level with him. “Sorry about that. The phone slipped out of my hand and slid into the deepest dark corner under my desk, and I’m such a klutz I whacked my head crawling out from underneath it.” I sucked in a breath and worked to get my act together. “Enough about me, what can I do for you, Mr. O’Connor?”
“Why so formal, Sophia? I prefer you call me Ian.”
I swore I heard laughter in his voice. Great, he probably thinks I’m a total dork. “Okay, Ian, then please call me Sophie. Only my mom calls me Sophia, and when she does, it usually means I’m in trouble.”
“Are you trouble, Sophie?”
The opening was the size of a Mack truck, and I drove on through. “I can be trouble.
Are you looking for some?” I said in a sultry voice.
“Are you flirting with me?”
I sat up straighter. What was I thinking? This is a potential client, not a date!
“His name is…”
At that, Jackie came out of her speechlessness with a vengeance. “His name! The tenant is male?”
“Well, yes, but he’s harmless. As a matter of fact, he’s a recluse. You probably wouldn’t even notice him. You see, he’s some sort of computer programmer and rarely leaves the house. His groceries are delivered once a week.” Anne gave a reassuring smile.
“Great. Some creepy computer nerd that plays games all day lives on the third floor,” Jackie said derisively.
I looked at Anne. “Is he agoraphobic?”
Jackie looked confused. “Agora-what?
“Agoraphobic. Does he have a phobia of going outside his home?”
Anne took a moment to respond. “I don’t really know. I do know that twice a week his psychiatrist comes to the house to see him.”
“Who’s his shrink?” Jackie asked.
“Dr. Nolan from downtown on Bradford Street.”
Silence descended as we chewed on this information. I looked at the small wrought iron balcony jutting out from the third floor.
“What’s his name?”
“Dr. Jeffrey Nolan,” responded Anne.
“No, the tenant’s.”
“Oh, let me see. It’s right here in my file.” Anne searched through her files. “Yes, this is it. Daniel Johnson.”
“I can’t see the apartment at all?”
“I have photos that were taken by Mr. Stein before the tenant moved in. You can at least see what the finished space looks like. It has a small kitchen, two bedrooms, a den, a bath and a half and a large living room. All the utilities for the attic are billed directly to the tenant, except for sewer and water.”
“How much does he pay in rent?”
Referring back to her notes, Anne named a price that temporarily stunned me. The rent he paid would completely cover my monthly mortgage.
“There’s also an automatic three percent increase in rent every three years.”
“Is he ever late?” Jackie jumped back into the conversation.
“No. Never. From what I understand from Max, he pays punctually on the first of the month.”
I mulled over this new piece of information. “When can I meet Mr. Johnson?”
“Well, that’s the rub. He doesn’t see anyone besides his psychiatrist. I understand Mr. Stein met him when he moved in, but Max seems to think he keeps to himself and he’s not sure his father ever saw much of him.”
“Can I speak to Mr. Johnson on the phone?”
Anne brightened for a moment. “I have his e-mail address. I’m sure I could give you that.”
Jackie snorted but I pressed on, “Can I talk to his psychiatrist?”
“Cara!” exclaimed Jackie. “You can’t actually be thinking about buyin’ this house with this ridiculous condition.”
“Yes, as a matter of fact, I am thinking very seriously about buying this house. Obviously, Mr. Stein, a well-known local lawyer, thought enough of Mr. Johnson to give him a ten-year lease. Clearly, the third floor is a full working apartment, quite separate from the rest of the house. Most importantly, the rent from the apartment would provide me a second income.”
Seeing a live one on the line, Anne began thrusting documents at me. “Here’s the floor plan Mr. Stein used when he had it finished. Here are some color copies of the finished product. I have the full color photos back at the office if you’d like to see them.”
“But…but,” Jackie stammered, “he could turn out to be some sort of lunatic that will murder you in the middle of the night. Or maybe…maybe he has that pack rat illness and the attic is full of newspapers and garbage…and RATS! The house could turn into a foul-smelling pigsty. Or maybe he’s runnin’ a meth lab up there!” Jackie pointed one of her pink manicured fingers at Anne. Turning back to me, she continued on her rant. “That’s it! Drugs! The police will descend upon you at three in the mornin’, guns a-blazin’, and the entire house will be blown to bits durin’ the raid.”
“This isn’t a war, Jackie. I’m sure Mr. Stein wouldn’t have allowed a drug dealer to live on his third floor. Right, Anne?” I calmly eyed Anne who shrank back into her chair during Jackie’s rant.