It’s Release Day! Finding Ever After

Once Upon a Time…

It was RELEASE DAY for the fairytale-ish collection Finding Ever After.

It ALSO happened to be Valentine’s Day 😉 Nice combo, if you ask me.

YES! Today’s the day that readers get to step into four different stories all bound together by a fairytale book. It has been such an honor and delight to get to work together with three friends and authors to develop this collection for you all and I’m SO PLEASED you get the chance to enjoy the ‘magic’ of romance through these stories.

You can learn more about the series HERE

Today, I’m going to give you a little tour into the real places you’ll glimpse in my novella, Between Stairs and Stardust. It’s such fun to introduce you to James and Stella, an unlikely pair with kindred hearts.

Between Stairs and Stardust takes place in Asheville, NC – mostly at the grand Biltmore estate or in my fictional estate of Cravewood. Because I am a devoted admirer of Biltmore, I loved including it into this sweet story AND because it’s a REAL place, I can show you a few of the places Stella and/or James visit.

First, is the meeting place: The lagoon (pond) at Biltmore. Here’s a little video so you can see 😊 (taken a few days ago 😉)

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There’s also the walled-garden. Here you can see the conservatory on one side of the walled garden and just near it is the gardener’s cottage – both part of a rather lovely (and snowy) scene.

Also as part of that scene is the tea house with a view of the lovely Blue Ridge Mountains. Mr. Vanderbilt owned land all the way from the house to those mountains. The tea house is situated on the far side of a long terrace outside the house’s library. Here’s a video of that too. (the wind gets crazy, so bear with me).

There are so many wonderful places to see and explore at Biltmore and because of all the fun research I’ve gotten to do there, I’ve LOVED creating my own two fictional estates. Cravenwood, which you learn about in Between Stairs and Stardust, but also an upcoming estate in the Blue Ridge Mountains known as Glastor Estate.

Here are a few more views to enjoy!

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I hope you’ll take the time to check out this wonderful collection – 4 stories for only $4.99!!!

AND, if you want to check out my writing style before you commit, my novella, Second Impressions is on sale for only .99 from Feb 15-16! It’s a great opportunity to take a trip to Bath, England where romance brews between a straight-and-narrow hotel owner and a color-outside-the-lines Austenite. Homicidal bonnets may come into play.

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So…if you could have one thing from a fairytale you’ve read or watched, what would you want?pepper (1)

The Everyday Romance

Jenna Coleman in ‘Victoria’ (2016).
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I have a wonderful obsession with the BBC series Victoria.

Yes, the storyline is great!

Yes, the acting is wonderful!

Yes, the costuming is superb and the setting is fantastic.

But you know what makes it absolutely marvelous to me?

The relationships – particularly between Albert and Victoria.

(and, of course, Albert’s excellent side burns)

Vicbert :)
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Aren’t they just adorable together? It’s even cute to know they date in real-life. No wonder the tender looks and excellent kissing scenes are so believable.

As a romance reader and writer, so many times the stories I read take place before a couple gets married. It’s the exciting, nerve-wracking, will-they-won’t-they uncertainty of the chase, attraction, fall, and, at long (or short) last, the happily-ever-after, but the wonderful thing about Victoria is that we get to go BEYOND the engagement kiss or the wedding day bliss.

We get to see the everyday romance.

Victoria and Albert kisses  → Season 1
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A touch here. A service there. A conversation which appears mundane. Shared humor. Conflict resolution. Stolen moments in a busy schedule. Longing. Friendship. Trust. Tenderness.

 

And yes, it’s television, so it’s not going to be like our everyday romances, but it can give us pause to consider the beauty inherent within the little things.

I bet you can think of a few in your life.

dog-3148967_1920Some of mine are – the way my husband always makes sure our kids’ have remembered to feed the dog. How on EARTH is that romantic, you may ask? Well, it shows his tender-heartedness…and tender-heartedness is romantic.

What about starting your car on a cold morning so you don’t have to go out early and scrape off the windows? I’m going to cherish you by allowing you to stay warm.

pizza-3000274_1920.jpgBringing home dinner unexpectedly, I LOVE those moments! You work hard so let me take a little of the burden off tonight.

Doing dishes – seriously, I HAD to show how romantic that act was in my rom-com Just the Way You Are and my contemporary romance Charming the Troublemaker.  I want to serve you because I love and appreciate you. We’re a team!

Compliments…You’re beautiful to me.

A greeting smile when you walk into the room. You mean something special.

lamp-3128727_1920.jpgMy husband is always turning lights on for me because I’m must as comfortable in a dark room. LOL. But he wants to make sure I can see 😊 I care about you.

Running out before work to pick up Valentine’s for our youngest daughter who forgot to tell us she was having a Valentine’s party at school. That shows care and sacrifice.

Sometimes, we can get lost so much in the BIG romantic moments (or lack thereof) that we forget the everyday romances in life. Can you name a few from your life or from a television show you enjoy? Have you noticed some in others?

There’s an older couple in our church who hold hands everywhere they go.

There’s another elderly couple where the husband walks behind his wife and steadies her wobbly gait with a gentle hand to her back.

jesse-goll-555768.jpgSure, Valentine’s Day can give us:

  • A reason to dress up and go to dinner.
  • A free ticket to dose up on chocolate
  • An excuse to avoid housework and accept someone else’s devoted service
  • Or whatever the case may be

But the everyday romance starts ‘the morning after’ and the one after that…and so on. I’m not saying we shouldn’t still expect those take-your-breath-away moments, but hopefully, we’ll also recognize the sweetness of the little things too.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Pepper