HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!

Today marks the 1-year Anniversary of THE MATCHBAKER!

Happy Birthday to my favorite book!! 🙂

Happy Anniversary MB

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New Release: Love Everlasting

My fabulous colleagues and I put together a sweet, romantic collection of short stories — perfect for quick bedtime reads or for an afternoon at the beach 🙂

JERRICA KNIGHT-CATANIA

Some Like it Hot…
A young woman heads to the middle of nowhere in the dead of summer
to perform in a summer stock show. She’s not interested in a “showmance”, but she can’t help but fall under the spell of her leading man. Will an unscrupulous chorus member ruin her chances at a lasting relationship?

Spring Cleaning…
Boredom sends a young New Yorker out into stormy weather to get her daily caffeine fix, but little does she know she’s about to find something better to perk her interest and brighten up the dark skies.

JANE CHARLES

Epoch…
Content to spend all of her waking hours in the library, Catherine Barker doesn’t spend much time thinking about the world outside until Joseph Andrews appears in the English history section late one evening.

A CPA’s Secret…
Historicals are Erica Roberts’ escape, and the only romance in her empty life…until she meets Colin Parker.  Could he be the one to make her 19th Century fantasies come true?

End to a Tradition…
Cattie has been dumped more times than she can count, and almost always on a holiday.  With Valentine’s Day looming, and her boyfriend, Joe, spending more and more time with a female coworker, she fears history may repeat itself.

AILEEN FISH

A Grand Beginning…
A piano brings together two people with a common interest in old tunes.
Widowed Mary Margaret is content on her own until she begins singing
along with new neighbor Ed. Is it ever too late to start something new?

Passings in the Night…
A random meeting with a secret childhood crush brings startling
revelations and the possibility of a new romance. Chrissy never expected
her hard-earned self esteem to be challenged by still-hunky Jake, who
asks her out.

Available now for Kindle and other e-readers at Smashwords!

Reviving the Chick Lit!

A year or so ago, I embarked on one of the funnest projects of my life: a chick lit novel called The Matchbaker. But things kept getting in my way — life, Regency novels, beach-themed novellas and short stories — so The Matchbaker took a backseat. Until now. I pulled it out the other night and decided I was going to revive it!

And, in light of my critique group’s recent discussion about the frustrations of weight gain, I’ve decided to post this excerpt from The Matchbaker…you don’t need to know anything about the book to enjoy this piece, so don’t worry about spoiler alerts :)…

I hope you enjoy!

I hop into the shower, trying to shake off the depression that’s setting in. I mean, I have no right to be depressed. He’s not mine, he never was, and to pursue him at this point would be absolutely reprehensible of me. Besides, there are plenty of guys out there, I just haven’t put any effort into finding one. I’ve been so career focused—and Colin focused—that I haven’t taken the time to even go out on a date.
That’s it! I have to start dating. I know my plate is pretty full with the bakery right now, but I can’t let that stop me. I’m going to get my butt back in shape and start dating.
I’m sufficiently cheered by the time I get out of the shower. So much so that I don’t even let the fact that Holly has sexy lingerie hanging in the closet get to me. It’s totally fine.
“Candy, what are you doing?”
I jump, startled by my sister’s voice behind me. “Holly, you can’t sneak up on people like that!” I shout, exasperated.
She ignores me. “What are you doing with my lingerie?”
Damn. She noticed. “Nothing,” I say as I pull it away from my body, where I’d been holding it against me and stroking the soft, pink satin. “I was just…trying to find something to wear.”
“I’m not sure that’s appropriate work attire.”
I give her a scathing look and roll my eyes. “I thought it was a camisole.”
She doesn’t believe me. I can tell.
Well, never mind her. It could very easily have been mistaken for a camisole. How tragic that my own sister thinks I’m a liar.
“Here, this should fit you.” She walks over pulls a mu-mu-looking top out of the dresser. I stare wide-eyed for two reasons: 1) I didn’t realize she had drawer space on top of having half the closet, and 2) I’m flabbergasted and down-right offended that she thinks the only thing I’ll be able to fit into in her wardrobe is a mu-mu. A mu-mu!
“Oh, well…” I turn back to the closet where there are a plethora of trendy pants and tops (my sister’s not one for skirts and dresses.) “I was thinking of these pants with this blouse. Do you mind?”
She looks dubiously at the articles of clothing I’m holding aloft, then she glances toward my waistline and raises her eyebrows. I don’t like to use the “B” word very often, but in this case my sister is being a huge B!
Well, I’ll show her. I can fit into this outfit just fine. I mean, it’s a size 6. I’m a 4 at most. “Do you mind?” I say, glancing toward the door.
Holly shrugs and leaves the room, closing the door behind her. I wait until I hear the latch click, and then I begin to get dressed. Thankfully, my bra and underwear survived the papier mache incident. I slip those on, then reach for the pants. They’re beautiful. The flat front has buttons down either side and then they flare out into a wide leg—a modern take on the sailor pant. The cream-colored blouse has tiny navy polka dots to match the pants and a ruffle down the front and on the cap sleeves. Frilly and girly, but still sleek and trendy. Maybe I’ll go sit at the coffee shop and pretend to read something smart while I’m really scoping out men. My dating mission starts today.
I put one leg into the pants, then the other, and hoist. Then I hoist again. But the damn pants won’t move past my hips. I seek out the side zipper. It must not be down all the way. I pull it and it moves. Hooray! I knew there was something wrong. Only, the zipper doesn’t move down quite as much as I hoped it would. A half-inch at most. But really, that should be plenty.
I hoist again, and the pants finally move over my hips. Ha! I knew that would do it. I put the shirt on next, since it needs to be tucked in. My arms slip easily through the armholes and I start to button it up. Only the top two buttons, the ones that button over my breasts, don’t come anywhere near the buttonholes on the other side. Shit. Something must be wrong. I mean, really. There’s no way my boobs have grown that much in the last two weeks.
I mash them down and let out my bra straps so they hang a little lower down, and finally, the buttons close. There’s a bit of a gap there, but I’m sure it will be fine once the pants are zipped. My hand reaches for the zipper and tugs. I suck in my stomach and hold my breath, and the zipper moves easily to the top.
Ah. There. Perfect.
“Candy, are you ready?” my sister calls from the other room.
“Coming!” I say as I grab my bag off the bed. “Do you have shoes to go with this outfit?” I emerge from the bedroom and ignore the look of dismay on my sister’s face as she gives me the once-over.
“Um, yeah…” She sounds a bit dismayed, but I can’t understand why. Obviously we’re the same size. It’s not as if I’m going to stretch out the clothes or anything. “Here.”
She hands me a pair of Kate Spade wedge espadrilles that have cream-colored crochet straps. They’re perfect for this outfit. I bend over to put them on, and all at once I hear two of the most horrifying sounds in the world. The sound of a pair of pants splitting down the middle, accompanied by the click of buttons hitting hardwood. Oh, my God.
I look up from my bent over position, afraid to move another muscle. Holly is staring at me, her eyes wide. Shit.
“Did you just…?”
Oh, God. What do I do? Do I play this off and blame it on sizing and fit models? Or do I let myself break down into tears, apologize profusely and promise to have it all repaired?
I’m desperate for Holly to make the first move. Maybe she’ll start laughing. I mean, it is pretty funny, me busting out of her clothes and all. Or maybe she’ll start yelling and say something horrible to me, at which point I can turn the tables on her and make it all sound like it’s her fault. Either way, I just want her to say something. Anything.
But she doesn’t. She just stands there, waiting on me. And then I can’t help myself. I burst into tears and wail, “I’m so faaaaaaaaaaaaat!”

Everybody loves a SALE!!

This summer, some of my critique partners and I got together and wrote “beach reads”– Stories that actually take place on the beach or in a summery setting of some sort. Two of them are available now for your reading pleasure, and from now until the end of August, they will be on sale for $0.99! Find out more about the stories below…

From Air to Eternity by Lilia Birney

Click here to purchase from Amazon

Katrin O’Connor ekes out a lonely existence in the beachfront village of Beaufort, North Carolina, after her husband’s death in a helicopter crash five years ago. Determined to stay grounded and avoid further heartache, Katrin has stayed out of the dating scene–until Mike Williams breezes into her life during one fateful summer day.

Mike Williams makes a living as a flight instructor, going from military base to military base. But the bachelor life loses its appeal the moment he meets Katrin O’Connor. Determined to win her over despite her aloofness and her fears, Mike finds he may have to choose between two passions–his love for flying and his love for Katrin.

Will Katrin relinquish her fears and fly once more? Will Mike have to give up one passion to satisfy another?

Cruise to Destiny by Jerrica Knight-Catania

Click the picture to purchase from Amazon

Melanie Smith has sacrificed everything in her attempt to make it to Broadway—everything including her love life, or any life at all for that matter. But when her best friends practically kidnap her for a 6-day Bermuda cruise, she’s reminded that there’s more to life than auditions and waiting tables.

Devon Matthews earned his massive fortune at the ripe age of twenty-eight, and after a meaningless playboy existence, he’s desperate for more meaning in his life. He takes a position as a massage therapist on a cruise ship, hoping to enrich his life through work and travel. But it’s the mysterious Melanie that inspires true change in Devon’s heart.

Will it just be another summer fling? Or will Devon and Melanie find their destiny aboard this summer cruise?

Both books are also available at bn.com for Nook: From Air to Eternity or Cruise to Destiny

Happy Summer Reading!