Sunday, May 16, 2010

THINGS MEANT TO BE w/ Donna Marie Rogers

Today I welcome a dear friend to Cozy, author Donna Marie Rogers! Her contemporary romance, Meant To Be, is on my Recommended Reads list. Stay tuned for an excerpt and a chance to win...

Still very much on my mind, on most people's minds, is the devastation in the Gulf Coast. Concerns are both environmental and economic. If marine life dies, the consequences on the fishing industry will be unimaginable. Not to mention the fear that no one will want to buy products from contaminated water anyway. Tourism officials worry that vacationers won't want to visit oil-tainted beaches; environmentalists are concerned how the oil will affect the birds, coral and mammals in and around the Gulf. My deepest sympathy goes out to everyone personally effected by this unthinkable disaster.

As a friend of mine said yesterday, whether your children are of the two-legged or four-legged variety, I hope all you mommies out there had a nice Mother's Day!

Happy Birthday Week, Amber! It's always a pleasure to guest blog at The Cozy Page. Amber is not only a great friend, but an amazing author as well. And since she included Meant To Be in her April 10th blog, Recommended Reads, I thought I'd dig through the book and pull out a brand new excerpt. Meant To Be placed second in the 2010 NEC Bean Pot Awards, and is a finalist in the 2010 WisRWA Write Touch Awards. Hope you enjoy it!

She's running from her past, he's unsure about his future. Maybe together they can figure out what was Meant To Be.

Officer Garrett Jamison is at the lowest point in his life. He’s lost faith in his ability as a police officer after unwittingly setting his sister up with a dirty cop. Garrett ended up getting shot, and his sister's son kidnapped right out of his own bed. He takes a leave from the force, in need of some time to make a decision about his future. Too bad he can't get a decent night's sleep thanks to his sexy new neighbor and her howling cat.

Jessica McGovern moves halfway across the country to start a new life in Green Bay, Wisconsin after her ex-husband is convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of their young son. Her new neighbor is as infuriating as he is handsome, but when her ex is released from prison early and shows up in town, Jessica discovers she's never needed anyone more...


"Remember, you promised to be good," Garrett reminded his nephew as he pulled open the door to the restaurant. "Any sass-mouth and I'll take you right home. I mean it."

Ethan frowned, but wisely nodded his head. He stomped through the door and stood next to the PLEASE WAIT TO BE SEATED sign. Garrett couldn't help but grin. Even annoyed, Ethan had better self-control than his uncle.

The hostess, a busty, middle-aged woman with a humongous salt-and-pepper beehive hairdo, walked up and winked at Ethan. "Hey, good-lookin', would you like a table or a booth?" She reached down and grabbed a menu, placemats, and a few crayons.

"We'll take a booth," Garrett said. "In Jessica's section, if that's all right."

She looked him up and down and smiled. "She has a booth open in the corner. Follow me."

Ethan dragged his feet the entire way, then climbed in and crossed his arms, his little face screwed up in a mutinous scowl. Garrett let out a resigned sigh. The hostess handed Garrett the menu, set down the paper placemats, and dropped the crayons in front of Ethan. "Jessica will be with you in just a minute."

"I ain't no baby," Ethan muttered as soon as she walked away.

"You're seven, sport. There's nothing babyish about coloring when you're seven." Garrett flipped open his menu, hoping a decent meal might sweeten Ethan's disposition. Hell, who was he kidding? The only cure for his nephew's foul mood would be if Jessica disappeared from the planet. And that would surely put Garrett in a foul mood. The thought of never seeing her again was enough to make his blood run cold. Damn, when did he become so attached?

He blew out a frustrated breath and glanced over the menu. "Hey, they have chicken quesadilla appetizers. Want to split an order?"

Ethan shrugged. "I s'pose." He picked up one of the crayons and started doodling.

Garrett felt a glimmer of hope. He certainly didn't need the little squirt's permission to date Jessica, but it would be nice if he could at least be civil to her.

"Well, I didn't expect to see you two here," Jessica said as she approached the table.

Garrett had to clear his suddenly dry throat. Jesus, what in the world was wrong with him? It hadn't been that long since he'd gotten laid. He shrugged. "We have to eat lunch, and this is as good a place as any." Had that sounded nonchalant enough?

"So what can I get you?" She pulled the pad and pen from her pocket before craning her neck to see what Ethan was drawing. "Wow, that's amazing. A dog?"

Ethan looked up with utter disdain. "It's a horse. Don't you know anything?"

Garrett's face grew hot with embarrassment. He slapped his menu shut and yanked the crayon from Ethan's grasp. "That's it, sport, I warned you. No lunch and no movies tonight. You can sit in your room and pout until you learn how to treat people with respect." His gaze moved to Jessica. Jesus, what she must think. "I'm sorry. I honestly thought his manners would've improved by now."

Ethan's eyes grew red and his chin quivered. "But it's a horse! Anyone can see that!"

Garrett had had enough. He started to push himself to his feet when Jessica laid a placating hand on his forearm.

"Please, Ethan's right. Anyone can see it's a horse. I don't know what I was thinking." She then said to Ethan, "You know, we make one of the best cheeseburgers in the city, and it comes with a big plateful of curly fries. And if you finish your food, you get a free sundae. What do you think? Are you up for it?"

Ethan shrugged a shoulder, but remained silent.

"If you don't think you can do it..." Jessica added, letting her words trail off as if in silent dare.

Garrett watched in wonder as most of the hostility faded from Ethan's eyes. The thrill of possible victory even brought a smug grin to the little shit's face. A free sundae? There wasn't much Ethan wouldn't do for that.

"Well, sport, it's up to you. Do we stay and have one of the best cheeseburgers in the city, or go home for some of Uncle Luke's Spam casserole?"

Ethan shivered in revulsion. Garrett and Jessica both laughed.

"I guess that settles it," Garrett said. "And I think I'd like to try that challenge as well." He handed Jessica both menus as he mouthed the word "thanks".

She winked at him. "Okay, so that's two cheeseburger challenges. What can I get you to drink?"

Ethan glanced at Garrett who nodded. Ethan's eyes lit up. "A large orange soda. And no onions on my cheeseburger."

"Make it two sodas." Garrett leaned back and laid his arm along the back of the booth. "And no onions on mine either."

Jessica rolled her eyes, and then softened the blow with another wink.

Thanks again for having me, Amber! And thank you to everyone who stopped by! For a chance to win an e-copy of Meant To Be simply leave me a comment...about anything you'd like. ;-)

Thank you, Donna, for sharing with us today! And Cozies, this is one read you don't want to miss out on!


Debra St. John said...

Oooh, this sounds like a great read. Loved the excerpt!

Celia Yeary said...

DONNA MARIE--I have the print of Meant to Be, and it's on my keeper shelf. Really!! I loved the story, and think you are one talented author. I hope you sell tons! Celia

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

Meant to Be is a definite great read, as is the prequel, There's Only Been You. 2 years in a row Donna's finaled in the WisRWA's Write Touch Readers' Award with these books. Small town charm and sexy sizzle will not disappoint!

Saying prayers for the Gulf Coast as well, Amber!