Monday, April 4, 2011

April 2011

What's New?

Hi, everyone! This is my first issue of my e-zine and I hope you like it. Each issue of In Touch will have an update of what I'm working on, new projects in the works, titles of upcoming releases as soon as I get them, and information about my writing life. In the Around The House! section you will most likely hear about my garden, recipes, and my cats Ebbie and London. Since photography has become a hobby, I will add pictures when I can. The Special This Month will change from month to month--from short stories, to the pics of my hero and heroines that I send in with my art fact sheets, to a coupon for a free e-book.

Right now I'm working on the third book in my Reunion Brides series tentatively titled A DANCE WITH HER PRINCE CHARMING. This is Mikala and Dawson's romance. I'm in the beginning stages and will tell you more about it in the months to come. Mikala is a music therapist. I had a friend who majored in music therapy and that's where the idea began years ago. Music has been an important part of my life. It can touch the heart and soul. I'm researching more about this profession, knowing I'll only be able to use a small amount of what I discover. Dawson is CEO of his construction company and has always worked long hours to become a success. He's beyond successful now. But when his wife died, his son Luke was in the car, too. Ten years old, Luke has had a tough time since then and has never regained his memory of the day the accident happened. Therapists in Phoenix have not been able to help him so Dawson is moving him and his son back to Miners Bluff to enlist Mikala's help and give them both a new start. Mikala is wise enough to know the past has to be resolved first.

And speaking of music... I intended a Jason Castro concert recently. He was fantastic so I've included a pic from the concert.
Something else that's new--  I've uploaded re-releases of my first published romances to Amazon and Smashwords. Check out the e-book button on my website for more info on the nine books that started my career. The first two—A Man Worth Loving and Garden Of Fantasy—I published as they were first printed.The rest I have updated to reflect our changing technological times adding cell phones & DVD's.

Around The House!

My first issue of In Touch has to include my cats, Ebbie and London. They are gearing up for spring by chasing rainbows from my sun catchers as well as the popsicle sticks I use for labeling the tomato plants I'm growing from seed. With the birds chirping, they sit at the windows listening and watching...particularly the squirrel that eats out of the bird feeder on our deck. As you can tell from this pic, they're paying attention to him.


This month's special is a romantic short story I thought you'd enjoy!

A SWING FOR TWO by Karen Rose Smith

     “It’s finished,” Mac Calloway called to Dana through the screen door.
     As Mac had built a new deck onto Dana’s house over the weekend, they’d talked on his breaks. Yesterday as summer heat invaded mid-September, she’d taken him a glass of lemonade. But today when she’d gotten home from school she’d stayed in the house. Glancing outside often, she realized she liked him too much. He was a man any woman would want working on her deck! In his thirties, Mac was broad-shouldered, muscled and lean. Today he wore a tan T-shirt with jeans. His dark brown hair gleamed with red highlights in the sun.
     Now she went to the door.  When he grinned at her, her heart tumbled over. “It’s beautiful!” she said, stepping outside and examining the wood railing. Her best friend had recommended Mac highly. He’d built an addition onto Elaine’s house and she and her husband had been well-satisfied with his work.
     And he was so easy to talk to. Since her divorce, Dana often found herself tongue-tied around men. After five years of marriage, her husband had decided he didn’t want to be tied down any longer and had taken off for Hawaii to find himself! The break-up of her marriage had put a dent in the womanly confidence she’d once possessed.
     “Now you need a chair out here so you can enjoy the sunsets.” Mac’s blue eyes twinkled.
     “I bought a table and chairs,” she told him enthusiastically. ”I’ve been keeping them in the garage.”
     “Want me to bring them up here for you?”
     “You don’t have to do that.”
     “No trouble, Dana. It will make me feel as if the project is complete.”
     As she showed him to the garage, she couldn’t deny the tingle that ran through her every time she noticed the muscles in his strong arms, the ease with which he lifted the furniture, the way he glanced at her every now and then.
     When the table and chairs were in place, he seemed reluctant to leave.
     “I’ll be glad to write you a check,” she said.
     He waved away her words. “I’ll send a bill.” After a pause, he went on, “I was wondering... I’m going to have a booth at the craft fair in town on Saturday. A friend is manning it for me in the afternoon. Would you like to meet me there? We could get lunch.”
     Bridgeville’s fall fair was one of the town’s highlights. But the avid male interest in Mac’s eyes suddenly made Dana feel shy and insecure. She hadn’t dated in two years. The idea of it seemed too terrifying to contemplate...as terrifying as risking her heart again.
     Impulsively she blurted out, ”I won’t be able to go. I’ll have scads of papers to grade. But thanks for asking.”
     Mac’s jaw became more square, his shoulders straighter. ”I should have guessed you’d be busy. I know a teacher’s work doesn’t end at the finish of the school day.”    
     Mac had already gathered his tools before he’d called her onto the deck. Now he headed for the steps. “Enjoy your deck. Call me if you need anything else built.”
     And then he was gone.
     She felt sad that she didn’t have the courage to try her wings again. But she didn’t.
     Dana thought about Mac all week. On Friday night she learned something from Elaine that shocked her. Mac believed she’d refused his date because he wasn’t as educated as she was!
     She couldn’t let him think that. In fact... She had to face her fears and tell him the truth because, in a flash of hope, she realized she wanted to date him, too!
     Saturday afternoon Dana spotted Mac at his booth and her heart pounded faster. He was leaning against a wooden platform- swing with a double-heart back. When he saw her, he stilled.
     Hoping her courage wouldn’t desert her, Dana crossed to him.
     He glanced at his helper who’d stepped away from the booth and was out of earshot. “I thought you had papers to grade today.”
     Taking a deep breath, she plunged in. “That was just an excuse. I haven’t dated since my divorce.”
     He looked astonished.  “You’re not serious!”
     “My...my husband left because he was tired of me and went to Hawaii to find a new life. I... Since then I’ve felt as if I lack something important to make a man happy.”
     Mac’s rigid stance changed along with his expression. His smile was tender as he stepped closer. “Your ex-husband was a fool. You’re pretty and sweet and can talk about anything. In fact...” He cleared his throat. “I thought you might not want to date me because I’m not as educated as you. I only have a high school diploma.”
     She shook her head. “You’ve done things I haven’t.  You’ve read things I haven’t. I watched you do the calculations for the deck, and you’re better in math than I’ll ever be. You’re kind and fun and--” Her cheeks flamed.
     “And...” he prompted, amusement dancing in his eyes.
     “And you’re a hunk in a T-shirt and jeans.”
     Laughing out loud, he took her hands and pulled her close. “Do you know what would look great on your deck?”
     As he gazed at her with the desire she was feeling too, he answered, “A swing built for two. I happen to have a spare one. We could try it out while we watch the sunset.”
     “That sounds wonderful,” she somehow managed.
     “I’m not looking for someone to just watch one sunset with me. That swing could last through years of sunsets.”
     “But we’ll start with one,” she murmured.
     “And with this,” he promised as he pulled her behind the swing, bent his head and kissed her with the fervor of a man looking for forever-after.
     As her arms twined around his neck and her world spun, she knew watching the sunset with Mac wouldn’t be a risk. It would be the beginning of a dream-come-true.

I hope you have a terrific start to spring!


  1. Hi, Karen! I love all of the pictures of your yard, garden and gorgeous kitties. Your books are magic, my Dear! Wishing you all the best!

    Connie Fischer

  2. Connie--Thank you so much. Some days when the writing is slow, a comment like yours lifts me up!