Cover Reveal: Goodness and Light plus a giveaway!

Posted Oct 7 2014, 9:15 am in , ,

I am so excited to show you the cover for my FIRST grown-up contemporary romance, GOODNESS AND LIGHT! 

It comes out on November 11th from Tule Publishing. What’s it about? So glad you asked! 

Thirteen years ago, two teens met on the ramp to Ground Zero, on a cold and snowy day,  strangers bonding in a moment of grief. The boy pressed a crystal snowflake ornament into the girl’s hand and disappeared into the crowd, unaware that his simple act of kindness saved her from the guilt that threatened to consume her. 

Since losing her mom, Elena Larsen hasn’t set foot in New York City — until now. Agreeing to help her sister prepare for her baby’s birth seems like a good way to spend Christmas and Elena vows not to let the monstrous guilt that weighs on her heart ruin everything. But those plans go awry when she meets Lucas Adair, a man whose own grief and guilt just might rival her own.

When Elena discovers Lucas is the boy who gave her that crystal snowflake all those years ago, she can’t accept it as the sign Lucas believes it to be. For her, it means only one thing — even beyond the grave, her mother can never forgive Elena for breaking her heart.

For Lucas, New York is hallowed ground that he can never leave. He spends his days working in the Financial District and his evenings volunteering and it’s almost enough to help him forget what he did.  Lucas knows better than to make plans with a woman who will soon be leaving, yet can’t help himself. There’s something about Elena that pulls him in. He doesn’t put much faith in signs but even he starts to believe Elena is his absolution. Now, he only has to convince her.

The best part is that this book is part of a Christmas in New York series I got to write with some fabulous friends — Jeannie Moon (This Christmas), Jolyse Barnett (A Light in the Window) and Jennifer Gracen (All I Want for Christmas). 

Here’s the pretty cover! 

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000032_00050]


To celebrate the cover reveal and get into the holiday spirit, I’m giving away a snowflake ornament like the one Lucas gave Elena when they were just kids. 

Just leave a comment and I’ll choose a random winner. 

Don’t forget to visit my friends’ websites — Jeannie Moon, Jolyse Barnett, and Jennifer Gracen. All four stories are sweet and oh! so sexy. 

Read all four! 

Here’s a little excerpt: 

New York never changed.

Elena Larsen stood beside her friend’s Zipcar and took a good look around. The crowds, the traffic, the smell of street vendor chestnuts floating on the cold December air. It was all exactly the way she remembered.

“Laney, I am so glad you finally joined us this year.” Cassandra gave her a reproving look.

You’re glad?” Elena laughed. “I single-handedly saved the economy. My checkbook will never recover.” From the car, she hauled two shopping bags that strained their handles.

“Hey, it’s Christmas. ‘Tis the season for checkbook abuse.” Cass walked around the car and grabbed her in a tight hug. “If you let another decade go before visiting us again, I will hunt you down and kill you.”

Elena hugged back but made no promises. New York may have been home at one time, but now it held only bad memories.

“I have to run. Give Kara a kiss and a belly rub for me, okay? Bye!” With one last wave and a blown kiss, Cass was back in traffic, a cab driver offering his opinion of her driving with a raised finger and a blare of his horn. Cassandra Baines was the quintessential New Yorker — a study in contradictions, a mix of urban polish and take-no-crap attitude. Kara, Elena’s sister, was even more so. Elena had no doubt attempting to rub her sister’s pregnant belly would get her hand slapped — which, she concluded with a wry grin, was probably why Cass had suggested it. She shook her head with a laugh. Damn, it had been good to see her — really good. Thirteen years is too long for friends to go without real, face to face contact, Cassandra had scolded her when she’d first seen her. Elena tamped down the guilt that flared in her gut — she’d had to leave.

She simply couldn’t bear New York City after that day.

She hefted her luggage — a huge suitcase on wheels and a small laptop bag — over a patch of snow and did her best not to look south.

She looked.

And realized she’d been wrong. New York had changed.

The spire of One World Trade Center glinted in the sun and she felt a tug on her heart that she’d never expected to feel. She hadn’t been in Manhattan since she was fourteen years old and despite the scar on the skyline, there was something here that still whispered home.

Elena stood and stared and was abruptly bumped from behind. Unbalanced by the bags clutched in her hands, she couldn’t stop the fall, and landed in a heap in the same mound of snow she’d tried to avoid. “Hey—” she protested, but a strong voice overpowered hers.

“Hey! Watch it!” A man shouted at the guy who’d shoved her, but it did no good. The obnoxious guy never looked back. The stranger bent to her, held out a bare hand. “Are you okay?”

Elena looked up into the face of the man who’d come to her aid. Dark hair curled over the edges of a knit hat, framing dark eyes that glinted with annoyance and concern. His cheeks were ruddy from the frigid air and his mouth, just the shape of it, made her own drop open with a little gasp.

Oh, wow.

She watched, hypnotized, for a long moment until that mouth curled. “Miss? I’ll ask again, are you okay?”

Elena gave herself a little shake and nodded. “Yeah, I’m fine, just — just really pissed off.”

The stranger grinned and Elena’s breath clogged in her lungs. His mouth was enticing when it was pressed into a tight, annoyed line but when he smiled, it was damn near lethal.

When he smiled, something changed.



She shivered and shook off the sensation, placing her gloved hand in his without thinking. Suddenly, she was upright with no memory of how she’d gotten there. Her rescuer was large.



Yet she felt completely safe in his hands. She blinked and swayed, and he shifted his hands to her shoulders. A delicious warmth spread over her.

“You’re sure you’re not hurt?”

She jerked, nodded. “No. Uh, yes, I mean I’m good.” Jeez. She couldn’t remember how to form words. His smile was intoxicating. Perfect teeth, just the right shade of white between loves coffee and Osmond cousin bracketed by honest-to-God dimples — the last time Elena saw dimples this cute, a boy had smiled at her only to vanish into the crowd gathered to honor the victims lost on September 11th. She thought he was an angel who’d stopped her from doing something even worse than what had already happened. He’d tucked something into her hand, something that caught the sun, a bit of light that cut through all that darkness.

A snowflake. A crystal snowflake ornament. She’d kept it all these years and still wasn’t sure if she’d imagined the boy who’d given it to her. The man in front of her wasn’t him — couldn’t be him — he wasn’t as tall for one thing. Looking up at that boy had put a crick in her neck. But he sure reminded her of him. Oh, she could happily spend the rest of her life staring at this man’s smile.

“Miss?” He shifted, obviously uncomfortable with her scrutiny and she crashed back to the present, mortified that she was still holding him.

“Oh. Sorry.”

She hurried to pick up the shopping bags and when she reached for the luggage handle, he shook his head. “I’ll help you.”

“It’s okay, I can manage.” She gave it a small tug.

“I’m sure you can. But I’ll help you anyway. Where do you need to go?” He tugged back.

Frustration, embarrassment, and just plain anxiety at being back in New York frayed Elena’s last threads of patience. “I said I can manage. Thanks for your help. I can take it from here.”

The man studied her. She studied him back. He was big — easily six feet with broad shoulders and narrow hips. He wore a dark jacket with a scarf looped around his neck. To her total surprise, he laughed and held up his hands in surrender. “Obviously, you’re a native New Yorker home for the holidays.” He handed over her bags.


The word stabbed through her heart and she rubbed her chest where the wound still stung. They’d left home not long after the towers fell and moved to Virginia, where the house was nice enough, if you liked old Victorians. And she supposed the Georgia house had charm. The Florida house was big, even had a pool. But her dad never stayed long in the jobs that took him and what was left of their family from state to state. Maybe that was why all those houses had felt more like hotels than home.

No. No, that wasn’t why.

It was because her mother wasn’t with them. She was lost here, in New York — a whisper on the wind that blew across lower Manhattan.

Her grave.

Elena forced a smile. “Yes.” She turned to leave.

“I’ll walk you to where you’re going.”

Elena shook her head. “Thanks, but I’m here.” She jerked a thumb at the building behind them. “My sister’s place.”

Another grin. Impossibly, it was more devastating than the first one. “Merry Christmas.” He extended a hand. “I’m Lucas but everyone calls me Luke.”

His attitude, the twinkle in his eyes, his smile, his dimples. Jeez, they could melt the snow under her feet, or under her – . Oh God. She quickly dusted snow off her butt, feeling her face burn when his grin grew wider.

“I like your hat,” he offered. “My mother would have loved that.”

Loved — past tense.

Elena couldn’t miss that. Her eyes snapped to his, held there, and yes, if she looked closely, she could see sadness under the twinkle. Courtesy demanded that she acknowledge his statement, but self-preservation compelled her to avoid it. Elena never spoke of her mother and the attack that killed her and did her best to not think of it. Discussing his mother would send her right back into that dark place she’d spent thirteen years clawing her way out of. Instead, she thrust out her hand, clasped his. “Merry Christmas to you, too. Thanks for rescuing me.”

It couldn’t have been warmer than twenty-five degrees and he had no gloves, but somehow, their brief connection shot a jolt of heat through her system.

When she failed to offer her name, Lucas shoved his hands back into his pockets and asked, “Can I give you a hand getting inside?”

“Um, no. I’ve got it. Thanks again.” Elena took a definite step back.

The move made his hands come up, surrender-style. “Not a line, not a ploy, I promise.”

“No, I didn’t think it was. I just don’t want to keep you from wherever you’re going. You’ve already done a lot. Thank you.”

“What’s your name, pretty lady?” He angled his head and her mouth opened all by itself because her brain was completely entranced by that smile.


“Elena. Nice meeting you. Merry Christmas again.”

“You, too. Merry Christmas.”

She wheeled her suitcase and hefted her shopping bags through the door of her sister’s building. When she looked back, the man with the supernova smile was gone and she sighed in relief.

And, maybe, just a little disappointment.



5 responses to “Cover Reveal: Goodness and Light plus a giveaway!”

  1. Linda Grimes says:

    Oh, I love that cover! Can’t wait to read your first adult contemporary. Looks great!

  2. bn100 says:

    Nice excerpt

  3. Voule says:

    What an enticing excerpt! I can’t wait to read it; and the cover is so pretty!!

  4. Aditi says:

    That cover is SUPER pretty! Congrats on your first adult contemporary! The excerpts are nice- and so I’m sure the book will be too!

  5. Patty Blount says:

    Thanks for your comments, everybody! Voule, I picked your name out of the hat to win the snowflake ornament! Email me your address.