Thursday, April 25, 2024

A Kiss from SEA OF HOPE

SEA OF HOPE was my first published book and an 2002 EPIC Award Winner for Best Inspirational Novel! Originally published by AweStruck Publishing, I reissued it along with a new cover by the incomparable Taria Reed. 

The story is about Doria Hanrahan who returns to her hometown, jobless, paranoid, and expecting to cash in on her father's fishing trawler. When she discovers the trawler has been willed to Murray Santoro, who cared for her father during his final illness, she is filled with anger and guilt. Desperate for cash she joins the crew of the Merrichase. On the ocean, far from land, she learns Murray is not only a doctor, but suspected of murder and awaiting trial. She cannot comprehend how her father trusted Murray. She suspects Murray coerced her father to change his will. 

BUT it is also a romance. So, grab a cup of tea, and read one of the sweet parts of the book. 

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He had grown so fond of her that it hurt him now to think of them each going their separate ways. Yet, it had to be that way. He had no future.

A hollow emptiness spread inside him. Doria had come into his life like a hurricane, but at her center he found strength, loyalty, and true courage.

She stirred. Her eyes opened slowly, vague from slumber.

“Hey,” she said and lowered her eyelids again, fanning the dark brown lashes on her cheeks. She sighed and smiled.

“Hey,” he echoed softly.

Two creases formed between her brows, marring her smooth complexion. Then her eyes flew open.

“What?” She ran her hand through her wild ringlets and moved to sit up.

“Everything’s fine,” Murray assured her. “We’re docked in New York, waiting to unload the porgies. The storm decided to move up to New England.”

Doria flopped back down on the bunk. “You look good.”

“So do you,” Murray said. “How do you feel?”

“Like I could sleep for another decade,” she replied.

Murray lifted up his digital thermometer. “Do you mind?”

Doria looked at him suspiciously. “I’m not sick.”

“You were cold,” he said.

“So were you.” She pulled the covers up higher, under her chin. “And you nearly drowned.”

“I already checked my own temperature.” He grinned. “After a half dozen cups of hot coffee, I am almost normal.”

“Too much coffee is bad for you.” Her eyes narrowed.

“If you have hypothermia, it can work wonders,” he countered. He turned on the thermometer. “This is not an invasive procedure. I put this in your ear and it gives a readout in seconds.”

“I know how it works,” she huffed.

“Your fingers are still blue,” he mentioned.

When she looked down at her fingers, he placed the thermometer in her ear. She tensed.

“Can I talk?” she whispered.

“Yes,” he whispered back.

“I-I’m glad you didn’t drown,” she said softly.

Regret weighed down on him. He had misjudged her at first, and hurt her.

“I’m glad you didn’t let me drown.” He found himself straining to keep his voice level. He took the thermometer out of her ear and glanced at the readout.

“We have got to get some hot drinks in you,” he stated as he frowned at the numbers.

“What’s with this ‘we’ stuff?” she asked.

“Nurses talk like that all the time.” He shrugged. “I’m pretending I’m a nurse.”

Doria laughed. “You look so much more like a pirate.”

He bent his head and stared at the floor, letting her merriment warm him with waves of happiness. It felt good. Healing. He had wanted to see her smile, to make her laugh, and he finally had succeeded. But why did it leave him with a lump in his throat? With an effort, he lifted his head.

“You will always look like an angel to me, Doria Hanrahan.” He could barely hide the emotion in his voice. “Thanks for saving my life.”

She placed her hand on his. He tightened his fingers around hers.

“I would have saved anybody.” Sincerity rang through every word. “Even George.”

This time Murray had to laugh. “Should I let George know that?”

She gave him a puzzled expression and then pouted. “You know what I mean.”

The delicate moue formed by her lips drew him. He dropped the thermometer on the blanket and reached out to cup her chin in his hand. Her eyes, the color of bittersweet chocolate, widened in surprise.

His lips came down on hers, slow and gentle. The tender fullness of her mouth had him drowning again, but this time from the forgiveness he found in her response.

He pulled away. Though brief, the kiss left his heart ramming against his rib cage.

“Why-why did you do that?” she asked, her lips still moist and rosy.

He shrugged and traced the generous curve of her mouth. “It’s part of the prescription.”

Her cheeks flushed even as she glared at him. “You made that up.”

“I bet your temperature rose a few degrees.” He lifted up the thermometer again. “Shall I check?”

“No!” She threw the blankets over her head.

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You can read the entire first chapter at AMAZON! Check it out. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Some Old Technology Still Works

I decided to attempt to get rid of a box in the garage and at the bottom of the box, I found this. Our old CB set. I went out to the car to plug it in and see if it works. It does. I heard some garbled speaking on a couple channels, but nothing clear. 

Hubby and I never used the CB much at all, but my Mom and Dad had one and used it frequently on their trips out to Pennsylvania to see my grandparents. Mom told the truckers to clean up their language and they laughed at her. 

But I was very glad I had the CB with me one time when I drove down to Stockton to pick up my daughter and bring her home for the weekend. As we drove toward home on the Garden State Parkway, we wound up in a traffic jam where the traffic wasn’t moving at all. I set up the CB and found someone who knew exactly what was happening. There had been a horrific accident and the traffic was stopped so helicopters could land on the Parkway and take the injured to the hospital. 

We sat in the car, not going anywhere for a long, long time and listening to the CB. I didn’t have a cell phone at that time. I wish I did because I could have called hubby and told him why we would be very late getting home. 

I am going to keep the CB just in case I get stuck in another traffic jam.


Wednesday, April 03, 2024

I'm Achieving

     I received an Achievement Award for a painting I finished many, many years ago. The Art Society of Monmouth County held their Oldies But Goodies show last month. It's one of my favorite shows because I have a lot of old paintings. I worked on the painting using a photograph of my youngest daughter reaching up to play the piano. My youngest daughter is all grown up now. Many people at the reception thought I had painted a picture of my granddaughter. Still, the painting received quite a bit of attention, which was nice. Perhaps many folks have watched a little one reach up to try a make music. I think I struck a chord with the subject. 😅 

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