Sugarplum Dreams ~ Book 4 of the Candy Collection
R. E. Hargrave
Broken Roads & Dusty Dreams By Lisa Bilbrey
Riley Farris and Natalie Sloane were the best of friends who spent every summer together on the sandy beach of Mustang Island. Then, just when Riley’s getting set to spend another summer with Natalie, she disappears. As the years pass, he struggles to understand what happened to the girl he knew. Until, one night while walking on the beach, he stumbles upon a woman who is broken and lost.
Lisa Bilbrey is a mom of three and has been married to her high school sweetheart since 1996. Finding a love in the written word, she started writing as a way to express herself. From the first word she wrote, she’d found her heart and soul. Always willing to learn, she’s spends much of her time trying to improve as a storyteller. She’s been blessed to find Michele Richard and Laura Braley, both of whom she spends hours every day writing with.
Right Click, Love
Disheartened about not being able to find “Mr. Right” on the London dating scene, best friends Jodie Lynch and Louise Hewson create a blog to not only document their disastrous dates with the numerous “Mr. Wrongs” and “Mr. Okay-for-nows” but also to help those going through the same experiences and to see where they’re going wrong. How will they deal with everything the dating scene has to throw at them — planned or otherwise?
M. B. Feeney is an army brat who finally settled down in Birmingham, UK with her other half, 2 kids and a dog. She’s also a student teacher, a doodler and a chocoholic. Writing has been her one true love since she could spell, and publishing is the culmination of her hard work and ambition.
M. B. Feeney has honored us with a special guest post.
For as long as I can remember, I was fascinated with words. My parents taught me to read at 18 months and often tell stories of me at Mill Hill train station in North London spelling “M for me, I for eye…” although, people used to apparently get confused when I did the “J for mummy.” (My mum’s first name begins with J… it’s obvious now huh).
As I grew up, my abilities grew as well, actually they developed at a faster rate than I did. I was always the “little one with a book” in the corner of the playground. I was sociable, but when my friends were being sporty (ewww), I would sit to one side with my latest paperback and loose myself.
I was in year 4 (aged 8-9) when we were given a free reading session on a Friday afternoon. All my classmates picked a book from the book corner, but I didn’t as I had read them all. My teacher (I loved Miss Hurcombe) sent me off to the class two years ahead of me as the one in between were out on a school trip, to borrow a book. I came back with two. J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and Goodnight Mr Tom by Michelle Magorian. (both are still favourites of mine to this day).
I took them both home for the weekend and devoured them. Even my parents read Goodnight Mr Tom because I couldn’t rave about it more. Monday morning arrived and I was excited to tell my teacher how much I had enjoyed them. Then she crushed my little bookworm’s heart.
She didn’t believe that I had read one of them, never mind both of them. I was in tears, there may have been snot… it wasn’t pretty. I pleaded and protested that I had and that she needed to believe me. Thankfully, she managed to calm me down and promised to give me the chance to prove I wasn’t lying. I was going to give an oral book report that afternoon before home time.
So, I did and proved her wrong. She was lovely and apologised about it, which may have made me a little smug. From then on, I was allowed to take books from the class two years ahead of me and then I gave a book report to my teacher. It worked well and I read plenty of books which is always a good thing… right?
The best ever invention (in my eyes) that works alongside reading is the Walkman. I was able to lie on my bed (or tucked away in my hidey-hole among my soft toys) and truly be able to shut out the world with words on a page and lyrics in my ears. HEAVEN!
Even now, at almost 34, I read with headphones in. Whether I’m on the sofa once my kids have gone to bed or in bed while the other half kills things on the X Box, music and reading go hand in hand.
Thank you, M. B. that was a great story!
Sugar & Spice
Lacey Harrison has been dealt an unexpected hand in life: being a single mom. With her father’s help and that of the residents at Royal Hills Nursing Home, she thrives and goes on to become a successful baker. She is content with her life but knows that she and her daughter Candy are missing something. Will things change for the better when Trent Childress moves into town and adds some spice to her sugar?
R.E. Hargrave is a fledgling author who has always been a lover of books and now looks forward to the chance to give something back to the literary community. She lives on the outskirts of Dallas, TX with her husband and three children.
R.E. Hargrave has honored us with a special guest post and an excerpt from her story, Sugar & Spice.
I have four very special somethings in my life: my husband and my three amazing children.
Mr. Hargrave came into my life about a month before my sixteenth birthday. Tall and lanky – he finally stopped growing shy of six-foot-four – he had to fold himself into the tiny school-issued desk right behind me in advanced algebra. Every time I got kneed in the back it was followed by a murmured, “Sorry.” He was adorable!
Prior to the small town in Southern California where I attended middle school and high school, I’d lived in another small-town in South Carolina – and Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. You could say I grew up with the safety and mentality of small-town living. Much like my main character in Sugar & Spice, Lacey Harrison.
Despite finding each other so young, it didn’t take the mister and I long to figure out we were it for each other. Lacey Harrison wasn’t so lucky with her high school suitor.
My mister joined the Air Force to build a good life for us – Lacey’s mister abandoned her, leaving her confused, expecting, and with no certain plan for her future. However, with the help of family Lacey endures and carves a life for herself and her daughter.
Where Lacey has had a single child to raise on her own, the mister and I went on to have our first son a year and a half after we were married in Las Vegas! He was followed almost two years later by our second son, and then our daughter joined us about six years later. Her snappy, quick-witted personality wove it’s way into the character of little Candy Harrison.
Each of my children are brilliant, beautiful, and perfect. Of course, I could be biased.
Being serious – my husband, while he has his faults like every person does, is an all-around good guy and GREAT father, and has helped me to raise children that do fantastic in school, have a great outlook on life, and are our friends as well. That’s saying something – so I did.
Excerpt from Sugar & Spice ~ 1 of 4 novellas in Sugarplum Dreams: Book 4 of The Candy Collection:
The bells over the door chimed, causing me to glance at the clock and smile. That would be Candy getting in after her first day back to school following spring break. I loved her, but the past week with her underfoot in the kitchen hadn’t been as relaxing as it had in years past. Also, it left me feeling a little sad. Every day, she seemed to get a bit older, while I wanted her to stay my baby girl forever. She was my daughter, but she was also my best friend. I walked a two-way street with her, relishing those proud moments when she accomplished something on her own, yet lamenting them as well.
Candy had always been my helper, eager to learn how to temper chocolate and fold ingredients into light and airy batters, excited to try her hand at frosting the cupcakes, curious about creating something new — until this year. This year, she had talked my ear off, chattering about the latest boy band, what the girls were wearing at school, and how she didn’t have the same things. All the while she stood off to the side, thumbing through her teeny-bopper magazines that she kept convincing my father to buy for her. I felt like my little girl was already slipping away at just nine years old. I was losing her to her burgeoning independence, and now I had to accept the idea that she was going to grow up and leave. My time with her was limited, and then I would be left alone. I had no intentions of taking a single moment with her for granted.
Thank you so much, R.E. it was so nice of you to share with us.
Spring break changes everything for Daphne Hobbs. A one-night stand leaves her pregnant and alone. She soon discovers that the father is an identical twin, and she’s unsure of which one turned her world upside down. She’ll be forced to share her apartment with them until she can discover the truth. Julius and Jordan Sweet share everything in their lives — almost to the point of living one life. Will Daphne uncover who’s the daddy?
Michele Richard lives in a suburb of Boston, Mass. She’s the mother of two pre-teen daughters and the wife.
Michele Richard has created the Mocked series. From Mocked by Destiny to the trilogy Mocked by Faith, she writes what comes from the heart. A wife and the mother of two preteen girls, she spends her days spinning tales about what happens when what you believe in mocks your every turn.
When she’s not writing, her days are filled with her family, her bunny Geneva, and friends. Her greatest passions are learning new languages and traveling. She currently resides in the Northeastern part of the United States however; her family members live down the east coast as far as North Carolina.
She’s currently learning French and Spanish, and one day hopes to be fluent in both. Learning new things is always something she enjoys.