Saturday, January 6, 2018

Change


Congratulations to "Ellie", the winner in Leslie's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!


Change has never been my thing. Don’t like it. I try hard not to do it, sometimes even at great personal expense. During college, faced with being unable to continue—I had a scholarship, but no money for food—my best friend offered to pay my life for the foreseeable future. College costs, living expenses until I was employed—everything. I would have gotten away from an abusive father and dysfunctional family. I would have had a degree about thirty years sooner, and probably gone into law instead of education.
But accepting her offer would have involved so much change—changing my rural home to live in Atlanta. Taking money from a friend, which was unimaginable. Giving up my brothers and sisters, our family pets, and our so-called amusement park rising out of the red clay near Greenville, Georgia. I would have to change from who I was to someone I never wanted to be.
The ironic thing is that over time, change came anyway. I lost everything I wanted to preserve.
Because change wasn’t my thing then either, I made peace with my choice early on, and to this day, remind myself that I wouldn’t have met my husband in Greenville, Georgia, and wouldn’t have the children and grandkids who are such an integral part of my life.
I wouldn’t have lived in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, learned Spanish, been disowned, and come, over time, to love south Texas—the stuff of a number of my romances, much of my poetry, and a part, now, of my soul.
            I tell myself, when I dwell on the issue of change, I did good to refuse it. I suspect for many of us who don’t like starting over, this is our reasoning—when we have resisted change, our lives haven’t always gone badly.
Of course, every part of who I am changed, just not with the immediacy of the decision I couldn’t make as a teenager. I refused my friend’s offer, telling her the change would be too harsh. And yet, change found me. In reality, about the only constant was writing. Well, writing, loving animals and hating change—none of those wavered, even when everything else did.
            So, with the reckoning a new year brings, I’ve decided that those who embrace change, yearn for it, seek it, and those of us who flee from it, really aren’t different—because all of us start over every day. From putting on our shoes and going somewhere to deciding whether or not to change jobs or end a relationship, we make decisions that are just changes disguised as daily life.
            I might not like change, but I’ve never been indecisive.
            How do you deal with change? Eagerly or apprehensively? I’d love to hear from you. And don’t forget to check out Lost and Found, the new Simon & Schuster/Crimson Romance bundle about starting over and learning to love again.
            Happy 2018. I wish each of you a year full of health, happiness, and love.

LOST AND FOUND: 8 Learning-to-Love-Again Romances

Risking their bruised hearts for a second chance at love is a dangerous prospect for these widows and widowers, but risk definitely has its rewards…

The Election Connection: War widow Lily Ashton’s heart is closed to love, so she’s the perfect choice to play fiancée to help secure a re-election for her pal, Congressman Ford Richardson. But as they work together, their not-quite engagement starts to feel much more real than either is ready to admit.

Luc: Widow and erotic romance author Liz Anderson moved home to the small town of Angel Bay to heal her broken heart. She’s so not ready when friends set her up with a single father ten years her junior. But this hot young chef is igniting her long-dormant desire. Too bad the last thing Luc Rossi’s life has room for is romance. Or can they cook up something that might last a lifetime?

Her Faux Fiancé: Hotshot lawyer Erik Sigurdson breezes into town determined to survive a two-week family reunion. He makes his ex, widowed combat photographer Analise Thordarson, an irresistible offer: pretend to be his fiancée and he’ll pay off her grandfather’s debts. But when their fake engagement is complicated by a very real pregnancy, they must sort out just who is using whom and if this sham relationship could lead to a real future.

Drawn to Jonah: New York-trained artist Quinn Baker is back home in Scallop Shores to reconnect with her family and figure out what to do with her life. Then handyman Jonah Goodwin asks an intriguing favor: teach him to read. Illiteracy has kept widower Jonah from forging friendships and building a career his daughter could be proud of, and hiding his secret has always been a full-time job. Yet something about Quinn inspires trust—but can she show him that he, too, is deserving of love?

Wildflower Redemption: Luz Wilkinson returns to tiny Rose Creek, Texas, to lick her wounds and toughen her resolve against love’s sting. She wants nothing more than to spend her days caring for discarded animals. But will Aaron Estes, her riding student’s widower dad, spur her to try again?

Breaking the Rules: A forbidden love affair in the past has led middle school principal Hope Robinson to restart her career in Harbor Bay, Florida, where this time she’s determined to play by the rules. But when a broken foot sends her to the clinic and Dr. Colin Calaway, sparks fly. Widowed Colin is ready to give love another shot, but he’s the father of one of her students. Is happily ever after worth the risk?

All About Charming Alice: Quirky Alice Treemont has given up hope of finding love in rural Blake’s Folly, Nevada, where she spends her time rescuing unwanted dogs and protecting snakes. That is, until dashing and well-to-do author Jace Constant comes to town to research his new book. Opposites indeed attract, and soon the whole town is determined to make a love match.

In Plain Sight: Widow Misty Starr has fled her past to settle in Pine Falls, New York, where she feels safe enough to sing in an amateur theater revival of Jesus Christ Superstar. Then dashing Nick Anthony joins the cast and stirs up feelings she thought long dead. The doctors say there’s nothing wrong with his vision, yet the former concert pianist and secret CIA courier has been blind since the accident that killed his wife. As Misty and Nick’s attraction grows, so, too, does a series of suspicious events. Nick holds the key to protect them, but only if they both drop their secrets to see the truth.

Sensuality Level: Sensual



About Leslie:
Mention writing to most first grade students--or teachers--and everyone runs from the room, screaming or crying, respectively. I, however, love the challenge of convincing the technology kids of today that words create everything they use, everything they enjoy. Yes, even those horrible cartoons and video games that are so foreign to me now. And the songs.

I, myself, was a published writer in first grade, first by the school principal, then by a novel but short-lived magazine written entirely by kids. I still remember the title: Kids. Paid me $1.50 for the last rhyming poem I ever wrote. "Dolphins are nice though they don't like ice" something something.

Luckily, my poetry no longer rhymes, and my stories strive to portray the mishmash of cultures, events, characters, and times that are our lives--all our lives, even if not everyone had a lion or a roadside amusement park or hid in an arroyo on their wedding day. 

There's a circuitous route through most of our lives, and the publishing company that helped me learn to submit work for publication through their magazines and annual Writers Market, F&W Media, is now publishing my debut novel with Crimson Romance. 

A lifetime of words away from first grade, but hopefully, you'll enjoy my words. I love hearing from readers, and hope you'll visit me one of these days.

Because words still have power, and always will.

Giveaway:
Leslie will be giving away a $25 gift card to one lucky person leaving a comment or email entry!

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Jan 7th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email maureen@JustContemporaryRomance.com with a subject title of JCR GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway. 

23 comments:

  1. I dislike change a lot. I'm a person who finds comfort in routines. Changes to that pattern make me antsy and uncomfortable in situations. Thankfully, I've never had to make any huge changes in my life in terms of living situation or the like but not a fan of change at all.

    ahui89 at hotmail dot com

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    1. I'm with you, Ada! Steady and known can be a good thing! Good luck in the giveaway, and wishing you a good 2018!

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  2. I have been writing poetry since childhood and still have a Hilroy "binder book" with my Grade 9-11 poems in it, where I wrote about teachers and fellow students. Fast forward to today, at 58, and I write my year-in-review poems to include in my Christmas cards.
    One year, I rewrote the lyrics to "All the Girls I Loved Before" for a badminton banquet in tribute to one of our players. The girl who was going to sing it backed out the day before and I couldn't find backup music to match the cadence of my poem quite right, so *I* ended up singing it a cappella to the man, with his wife sitting beside him. My daughter recorded it, and, if I do say so myself (and I do), I didn't do as bad a job as I had predicted, especially since I don't do karaoke, etc. The couple loved it, as did the other members. What was the icing on the cake, though, was that the DJ changed the first dance of the night to that original song and had the couple go up first, and then *I* cut in (amid much laughter), followed by all the other girls who had been his mixed doubles partners throughout the years (which was the topic of my new lyrics). Too funny.
    Maureen has my email address....

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    1. What a fun memory! And while I didn't do anything as romantic as that, I still have handwritten poems and used to change the lyrics of "Casey at the Bat" and use new Braves' players--but that's about as much changing as I was comfortable, too. Thanks for reading and commenting again, Laney. Good luck this year, and in the drawing!

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  3. interesting post

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

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    1. Thank you, bn100. Nice to see you again in this new year!k Good luck in the drawing.

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  4. Some new to me authors among the group in this anthology... sounds good!

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    1. Hi, Colleen! Nice to see you here again. Good luck in the drawing, and I'm excited by the group of authors CR put together.

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  5. I am not a big fan of change either!
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

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    1. You're welcome, Gina, and good luck. Here's to a stable 2018!

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  6. I hate changes. I even don't change wallpapers on my gadgets for years.

    natalija(dot)shkomare(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. LOL on the wallpaper, Natalija. That's me--and I don't change alarm sounds or even devices themselves if I can help it. Good luck in the drawing, and have a terrific 2018!

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  7. In general, I don't like change! I stick to the same of brands of gadget because I'm familiar with it, even if they're not the best in the market. But sometimes, some changes cannot be denied and I had to adapt to it :)

    Thank you for the giveaway chance.

    amie_07(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Hi, Ami. I'm like you on brands--and also sometimes changes come whether we're ready or not. Minor changes, like what they did to 'my' Coke Zero, and major changes. But we do adapt, or try to. Thank you for commenting, and good luck in the drawing!

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  8. I'm not fond of changes, but things happens and I go with the flow.

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

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    1. That's probably the best and most pragmatic way of viewing change, Taurus. Good luck in the drawing, and a happy 2018.

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  9. I want and need change in my kids' and my life; healthier mental and emotional changes. Sometimes change is good :-) bonita7878(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Good for you, MichelleCat. I'm surprised that more comments haven't been pro-change so far. As set in my ways as I am, I realize change definitely can help improve some situations, but it's still not always easy to embrace. Hope 2018 brings you the opportunities you want for positive change. Good luck in the drawing!

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  10. I hate change and do everything in my power to avoid it. And when things ultimately do change, as they always do, I don't deal with it very well. I sometimes go into a funk where I function on the outside, but inside my mind will be in turmoil. I will not eat or sleep well until I am able to reacclimate myself.
    eswright18 at gmail dot com

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    1. Oh, Ellie! You described my usual reaction to change so well! My mother used to say I was in a "brown funk" when something worried me. But I guess the key is that eventually, we do reacclimate ourselves! Have a wonderful 2018 and good luck in the drawing.

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  11. I'm not a fan of changes either! It is hard for me to step outside the realm of comfort and routines that comes with changes but it's an inevitable thing that I have learned to live with. Thanks for sharing and happy 2018!
    thebigbluewall77 AT gmail DOT COM

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    1. Thanks, Anita! It's funny--I expected for folks to respond who welcome change with open hearts. I guess change is rougher for most folks than we know, since we all have to deal with it the best we can. Have a great new year, and good luck in the drawing.

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  12. Thanks to all who have dropped by so far. I love hearing from readers and always enjoy myself here at Just Contemporary Romance. At the moment, if I were a statistician, I'd declare that a "no change is good change" visitor would win. You know, since 100% is kind of a sure thing even the way I do math. Where are the folks live for the excitement of change? You can still make your presence felt!

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