PLAYING FOR KEEPS
ANY GAME WORTH PLAYING…
Bad boy quarterback Jed Maitland is on a downhill slide. After an injury threatens to end his superstar career, his lucrative endorsement deals are drying up and his coach is after him to train his replacement. And then Jed is sacked with the biggest surprise of his life—the son he never knew existed.
…IS WORTH PLAYING FOR KEEPS
Facing bankruptcy after her ex-husband wipes her out financially, Griffen Somerfield is convinced her life can’t become any more complicated—until she’s forced to deal with her adopted son’s biological father. The last thing she needs is a live hard, play harder legend turning her world upside down, but when Jed turns on the Maitland charm, Griffen finds it impossible to maintain a strong defense. After all, if Jed knows anything, it’s how to score.
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Excerpt from Playing for Keeps
GRIFFEN SOMMERFIELD’S FINGERS trembled. She’d been dreading this moment. Although she’d known it would happen eventually, she just hadn’t expected the foreclosure notice from the bank for at least another month.
She scanned the document, her stomach roiling. Reading the fine print wasn’t necessary. All she needed to know was how long until the bank ripped Antiquities away from her.
Forty-five days? Seriously? That was it? The seventy-five hundred dollars the bank was demanding might as well have been seventy-five thousand. In another month, the price would be closer to ten thousand dollars. She silently cursed her soon-to-be ex-husband. Ross had cleared out every one of their accounts when he’d left, her business accounts included. As much as she hated the thought of giving up, she’d just run out of options. The wolves pounding on the door had changed tactics and were already sucking enough air into their lungs to huff and puff and blow her world apart.
The bell over the door to the shop jangled, signaling a customer. A buying customer, she hoped.
She slipped the foreclosure notice into a cubby on the roll top desk, then snapped her laptop closed. The ledger on the accounting program was filled with more red than black these days. Taking a deep breath, she adjusted her silk blouse, then left the small office. Maybe Charlotte Carter had returned to purchase the Louis XIV table she’d been coveting for the past six months. The sale wouldn’t solve all of her problems, but the tidy sum might buy her some time until she could think of a way to save her shop.
She stepped into the showroom to find a short, portly gentleman she didn’t recognize. He stood eyeing the rainbow of colored perfume bottles in the glass display case, arranged atop the emerald brocade fabric she’d used in conjunction with St. Patrick’s Day. On the opposite end, resting against a cream velvet background lay a Victorian jewelry box filled with gold and emerald trinkets. A pot of gold, something she doubted any wily Leprechauns would be dropping at the end of her rainbow.
She walked around the counter and summoned a welcoming smile she was nowhere near feeling. “Can I help you?”
The gentleman looked up and studied her through smudged glasses. Pulling them from his beak-like nose, he wiped them on a tissue. “Mrs. Somerfield? Griffen Hart Somerfield?”
Apprehension balled in her stomach. Now what? Six months ago, she never would have reacted with such fear, or constantly be waiting for the other shoe to drop. First Ross wiping her out financially when he decided to indulge in a clichéd mid-life crisis with his twenty-two-year-old secretary. Then the past due notices and threatening letters followed. Spitefully, she’d let the bank repossess Ross’s fancy sports coupe. Why would he need a sports car living on the white sandy beaches of Jamaica anyway?
She pulled in a deep breath. “I’m Griffen Somerfield. And you are?” she asked, aiming for a polite, business-like tone.
“Cyrus Morton.” She took the hand he extended, and he pumped as if he were trying to get water from a well.
She retrieved her hand before he yanked her arm from its socket. “What I can do for you, Mr. Morton?” She resisted the urge to massage her shoulder.
He smiled, revealing a speck of pepper between his teeth. “I have something for you.” He handed her a business card with the words Morton Investigations in bold, bright red letters emblazoned on the front. In the corner were the words investigation, surveillance, service of process.
Great. Now she was being sued.
He hefted a briefcase onto the counter and flipped open the latch. “You had a sister, a...” He lifted the lid and rifled through papers. “Just a second, it’s right...oh yes. Danielle Hart?”
“That’s right.” Dani, her sweet, darling older sister, had been gone over nine years. Leukemia had cut her gentle life short, but Griffen would always have the single sacrifice her sister had made. Austin.
“My client is First Trust Bank of Mississippi. When your sister was a college student at Ole Miss, she’d opened a bank account there. She also had a safety deposit box.”
Against the advice of her team of doctors, Dani had insisted on not only going to college, but she’d broken ranks and the family’s long standing Baylor University tradition. Instead, she’d opted for the University of Mississippi and a business degree in advertising.
More unfulfilled dreams and wishes, Griffen thought sadly.
“My client has been attempting to contact Ms. Hart and only recently learned that she’s been deceased for a number of years. You’re listed as her primary beneficiary.” Cyrus pulled a document from his briefcase and set it on the counter. “If you’ll just sign here, I’ll be on my way.”
“Why did it take so long?” Griffen asked, taking the pen Cyrus offered.
“A routine advertising mailing. The last known address my client had for your sister was the college dorm. The correspondence was returned with ‘deceased’ written across the front,” Cyrus explained. “The bank manager checked into it and discovered your sister had died.”
“Doesn’t anyone ever investigate inactive accounts?”
“Not as a rule. People open savings accounts all the time and leave them alone for long periods.”
Griffen nodded and signed the document to release the contents of Dani’s safety deposit box to her.
Cyrus asked for identification and verified the signature. Apparently satisfied, he opened his briefcase again to retrieve a thick manila envelope, which he placed on the glass counter. “There’s a cashier’s check inside, payable to you for nineteen hundred and sixty-three dollars. That’s seventeen hundred and seventy dollars from her savings, plus nine years of accrued interest, less the rental on the safe deposit box, of course.”
Nineteen hundred dollars? Granted, it wasn’t much, but it would help keep her and Austin afloat for at least another month until she sold the business and found herself a nine-to-five job.
“Thank you, Mr. Morton.” She took the envelope and held it to her chest. Nineteen hundred dollars would help, not much, but it would help.
“Are those authentic?” he asked, pointing to the atomizers in the display case.
“Yes, they are. Can I show you something in particular?” Maybe her luck was changing. She was curious as to what was in the envelope, but that could wait. If Cyrus wanted an atomizer, then she’d certainly sell him one.
“My wife likes those little perfume bottles. How bad would that blue one set me back?”
“Not as much as you might think,” Griffen said with a smile. She reached into the case and retrieved the circa 1910 atomizer. When he didn’t haggle over the cost, but asked her to wrap it, she nearly shouted with glee.
Ten minutes later, Mr. Morton left with an expensive gift for his wife wrapped in delicate floral tissue paper tucked inside his briefcase. Envelope in hand, she locked the door to the shop and flipped the sign to closed. She had about forty minutes to make it over to the gymnasium for Austin’s basketball game.
Back in her office, she sat at her desk and carefully opened the envelope. She caught the faint aromas of vanilla and musk. Memories assailed her of the short time they’d had with Dani. Her eldest sister had been as sweet and delicate as a fragile hot house orchid. Her goal had been to work at one of the advertising firms in Dallas, but she hadn’t lived long enough to fulfill her dreams. At the age of twenty-one, she’d given birth to a son, Austin. Having Austin had taken what little strength Dani had left and she’d never fully recovered. By the time Austin was two, Dani could hardly take care of herself let alone an active toddler, so Griffen had stepped in and cared for the adorable dark haired boy with huge brown eyes. When Dani had asked Griffen to promise to raise Austin as her own, no one in the family had been surprised.
Griffen had easily made that promise. Despite the fact that Ross had never wanted children, he’d insisted they legally adopt Austin. Dani hadn’t objected. Austin Hart Somerfield was in reality Griffen's nephew, but in her heart, he was her son. A son she now raised as a single parent.
The anniversary clock on the top of the desk chimed the half hour. With plenty of time before the game, she reached inside the envelope. Resting on top, as promised, was the cashier’s check. She tipped the envelope and two more envelopes, both sealed, tumbled onto the desk along with a glossy photograph.
She picked up the photograph, and her stomach rolled again. No. It couldn’t be. But she couldn’t think of any reason why Dani would have his picture, unless...
Griffen's heart thumped wildly. Dani had always refused to say, but Griffen had often wondered about the identity of Austin’s father. Never in all of her wild imaginings would she have even believed it could be him. What would her younger sister, Mattie, and their father, say if they knew? It didn’t matter. Griffen had no intention of telling them, or anyone. Especially Austin.
She stared at the black and white publicity photograph, at a familiar face. The handsome face of the man her son idolized, of the unnamed man Dani had claimed to love—Texas Wranglers’ star quarterback, Jed Maitland.
She set the photograph aside. At least now she knew where Austin had gotten his dark, good looks and a jaw already showing signs of becoming square and strong. Now she knew why at thirteen, he was nearly as tall as her own five-foot-eight inches and would no doubt top her by at least another two before the coming summer would draw to a close. But what she simply could not understand was what Dani had seen in Jed Maitland. They were so opposite, it just didn’t make sense. Fourteen years ago when Austin had been conceived, Maitland had been a hot shot quarterback, the number one draft choice out of Ole Miss, snapped up by the Texas Wranglers in the first round. Young and cocky, he'd become a target for the press, the same press which now claimed Maitland was headed toward forced retirement. According to Austin, being cut from the team was a fate worse than death.
Had Dani tried to contact Maitland to tell him about his son? Had he refused to acknowledge his own child? Griffen wouldn’t put it past someone like him. He’d already been sued once for paternity. As far as she was concerned, Maitland was a hard living, hard drinking, has-been womanizer.
With trembling fingers, she carefully slid the rose colored paper from the envelope addressed to her. A knot the size of a football churned in her stomach.
I know this probably seems rather morbid, reading a letter from the grave and all, but I can tell you now what I couldn’t when I had the chance. As much as I love you, Griffen, I couldn’t bear to see the disappointment in your eyes when you learned the truth about Austin’s father.
Despite what the press and media say about him, the man I knew and loved really is a good man. I know in my heart that if he’d known about Austin he’d have done the right thing. I chose not to tell him for my own reasons, so please don’t hold my choice against him. If you haven’t already guessed, Jed Maitland is Austin’s father. I know that I was wrong and probably should have given Austin the chance to know his real father, but I knew you would be the perfect mother and role model for him.
When Austin is old enough, he may want to know the truth. I planned to tell him, but that will now be up to you. Austin deserves the chance to know about his father, his real father.
I want you to do two things for me. Tell Austin how much I love him, and that the short time we had together were the happiest days of my life. The envelope for Austin contains my journal and I want him to have it in hopes that he may know how very much he meant to me.
My other request will be much more difficult for you, but I know you well. You always do the right thing. Please let Austin know about his father. Jed doesn’t have to know, but Austin does deserve to at least know who his father is, and how much I loved them both.
All my love,
Sweet heaven. What was she going to do now? The other shoe had totally dropped and managed a swift kick right to her gut before it hit the floor, bounced up and hit her square in ass. She leaned into the low backed chair and stared at the photograph of Jed Maitland. Her son’s hero was also his father. The entire situation was too surreal to comprehend.
For one, how on earth had Dani gotten these things into a safe deposit box hundreds of miles away when she obviously knew she was dying? And why? Why not just give them to her? Or will them to her?
Her head ached and she had no answer as she folded the letter and placed it back inside the envelope, along with Dani’s diary, the letter for Austin and the photograph of Maitland, then stuffed them in her oversized bag. She doubted if she’d ever figure out that particular puzzle.
The anniversary clock chimed the quarter hour. Austin’s game started in fifteen minutes. She’d think about this later. Much later.
Like in twenty years when Austin wouldn’t care that his father was Jed Maitland.
The bastards had the gall to come to him on his own turf. Jed tossed back the last of the scotch in his glass. Not a smart move on their part. He’d actually given them more credit than to grant him the home field advantage, but the stupid SOB's had a mission and were determined to see it through.
To see him through, the way he looked at it.
In too foul a mood to enjoy the beauty of the Texas sunset turning the vast openness of the rugged land into a solid gold landscape, he stepped away from the double-story glass windows. Circling the bar, he tipped the bottle of Jim Beam into the crystal tumbler, then lifted the glass and drained it. The scotch burned his throat, fueling his anger. The bastards.
He was Jed Maitland, dammit. They couldn’t do this to him. No one could force him out of the game. He’d been a winning quarterback since his rookie year and had three championship rings to back up the hype. Multi-million dollar contracts, the top four product endorsements and other perks had made him rich. Wise investments had made him obscenely wealthy. Not bad for a kid from the swamplands of Mississippi. Except now they wanted to force him out. Maitland the Maniac. A legend to rival Montana and Elway, Unitas and Staubach. Not chance.
He’d be damned if he’d accept what his agent, Bob Yorke, had termed as management’s generous offer. Hell, he was firing the useless piece of shit tomorrow. No one treated Maitland the Maniac as if he were no better than a relief quarterback from a third rate team. He hadn’t warmed the bench since he was ten years old, and he wasn’t about to start now.
He refilled his glass with more Jim Beam and drained the bottle. “Generous my ass.”
His shoulder hurt like a son-of-a-bitch and this was the thanks they gave him. Muttering a string of vile curses, he picked up his glass and headed toward the leather sofa. Bottles of painkillers sat on the glass end table. He picked one, snapped off the top with his thumb and shook three into his mouth, downing them with a healthy dose of his new best friend, Jim.
He glanced at the glass cocktail table where a football mounted on a marble base and protected by a Plexiglas covering stood proudly. His rookie year he’d led the Wranglers to the division championship game. They’d lost to San Francisco and had kissed the championship good-bye, but he’d played one hell of a game, coming up only six yards short of Joe Montana’s passing record. As a rookie, he’d set his own, and no one had come close to taking his record, either.
He set his glass on the table and took the Plexiglas off the football, which had been signed by the team. The pigskin was cold to the touch, but nothing fit his hands better than a regulation ball—except maybe a hot and willing woman.
He spun the ball in one hand. The pain in his shoulder didn’t ease as quickly as he would have liked, reminding him of what they were saying he could no longer do for a living. God, he didn’t know anything except the game.
He’d show them. The orthopedic specialists had said the surgery to repair his shoulder hadn’t been the success they’d hoped for, that his competition days were over. What did they know? How could they judge based on a mere six weeks of recovery? Three months of intense physical therapy, and he’d be good as new. Maitland the Maniac would walk back onto the field for training camp, and it sure as fuck wouldn’t be as an assistant coach or a third-rate chump.
For now, he planned to get drunk, good and drunk, for the entire weekend. And God help anyone stupid enough to cross his path. Namely the press. The bloodsuckers had falsely labeled him a bad boy, a renegade, and he hadn't bothered to correct them. He had his reasons. There were people to protect.
Might as well live up to the image.
He leaned back into the soft leather sofa. The feel of the ball failed to soothe him, nor did the reminder of what he once was, and would be again, if he had anything to say about it. The anger inside him peaked, and he gripped the ball hard. Thanks to the effects of the medication, he felt only the dulled edge of pain when he brought his arm back and took aim. With a curse to the pricks trying to ruin his career, he chucked the football across the room, shattering the glass and mirror shelves filled with crystal glassware behind the bar.
A sense of satisfaction, along with the misty haze of painkillers and alcohol, wove through him. He settled his head against the back of the sofa and closed his eyes, waiting for sweet oblivion to take hold.
Interview with Jamie Denton
What can we expect from you in the future?
More sexy contemporary romances, and more romantic suspense. Coming in time for Valentine’s Day is PLAYING DIRTY, Book #2 of my Texas Scoundrels trilogy. This series of contemporary romances that are fun, sexy with a deep emotional journey that has taken me by surprise. I also have another fun, sexy contemporary trilogy planned as well as suspense trilogy in the works. I’ll be quite busy for the next couple of years.
How long have you been writing?
Since before computers were commonplace, which translates to a very long time. I dabbled a bit here and there in the late 80’s, but it wasn’t until December 1990 that I became serious about writing.
For two years I struggled alone in the dark. Then by chance, a friend from Canada whom I’d met through a pen pal publication for writers (I told you it was a long time ago, we had no internet back then) turned me on to RWA. That day changed my life.
I joined a local chapter, met my then critique partner and wrote three historical novels which (thankfully) never sold. It wasn’t until my critique partner at the time convinced me to write a contemporary romance. I did it, kicking and screaming at first, but then I discovered I really had a knack for the genre. I started sending the first three chapters out to contests, made the finals and won a couple of big ones, then shortly thereafter, sold that book in December 1994, four years after I started my journey to publication.
That book was THE SECRET CHILD, which sold to Harlequin Superromance. I never did write another Superromance, although it wasn’t for lack of trying. I struggled for nearly three years to make my second sale. In the meantime, I had to learn what I had done right that made that first book sell. I’d finally hit it when Birgit Davis-Todd called me one afternoon to make an offer on FLIRTING WITH DANGER, a proposal for a sexy contemporary romance that I’d submitted to her for the Temptation line. That phone call broke the second-book-syndrome curse I was under and I never looked back. I never imagined that 19 years and 30 books later I’d still be selling books. It truly is a dream come true that I hope continues for many years to come.
How often do you write? And when do you write?
I try to write every day. Writing is like any muscle, it needs constant work to remain strong. Leave it alone for too long, then it gets flabby and is harder and harder to get moving.
Since I work 30 hours a week a paralegal, I no longer have the luxury of an entire day at my disposal. Some days I get up around 3:00 a.m. and will write for two to three hours. If I don’t, then I try to spend from 6-8:00 p.m. in the office when I get home from work. Friday through Sunday are my days off, and I take advantage of the time to write. Except Sunday during football season. Here in Steeler County, Sunday afternoons are sacred.
But my favorite time to write is midnight through the early morning hours. This tends to be my usual deadline mode. I’ve been known to pull 20 hour writing days in order to have a book finished on time. Although I no longer put in those kind of hours, the midnight shift, as the husband calls my witching hour, can be exhausting. However, when that happens, it’s usually because I am completely immersed in the characters and their story, but when I’m finished for the day, I crash pretty hard. By the time the book is done, I could easily sleep for two days straight.
How did you develop your writing?
By learning everything I could about the craft of writing. In fact, I’m always learning something new. While I haven’t attended a basic craft workshop in years, I do attend more advanced workshops on various aspects of writing. I remain of the firm belief that if you reach that point in your career where you think you’ve learned all there is to know about writing, then it’s time to put down the laptop and walk away. Never become too arrogant to learn new things.
I’ve been at this business for almost twenty-five years. Next year will be the 20th anniversary of my first sale. I still attend workshops, both online and in person. I also give a fair number of workshops throughout the year. What better way to deepen your own writing education than through research?
What genre are you most comfortable writing?
Fun, sexy contemporary romances and sizzling romantic suspense are the two main genres in my wheelhouse. I’m published with Harlequin and have written for many lines, however I have been primarily published with Blaze and the now defunct Temptation. I’ve also written super sexy novellas and romantic suspense novels for Kensington Brava and have participated in a Lori Foster charity project for Berkley. I even dabbled with an historical novella, SPELLBOUND, part of BLISS, a five-author anthology with stories ranging from the Civil War to present day.
What piece of advice would you give a new writer?
The same advice that was given to me many, many years ago that has sustained me during my long career.
1. Don’t be afraid to be different. Break those so-called rules and write the story that your heart is telling you to write. If there isn’t a market for it today, there could be one tomorrow. The face of publishing is changing daily. What was unheard of yesterday could very well become tomorrow’s norm.
2. Write what you love to read, and write what you know. If you’re not enjoying what you’re writing, how on earth can you expect your readers to enjoy it? I love the law, and I know the law, which is why a very large percentage of my books tend to have some aspect of the law involved. I write lawyers and cops and FBI agents, and I take my readers along that journey with me and show them my passion for the law.
3. Don’t chase trends. If your heart tells you to write an adult vampire romance but the latest hot trend is new adult zombies, write the vampire story. Don’t chase a trend because it’s the next big thing, unless it’s a subject or genre you are crazy passionate about. Trends change. Be a trailblazer instead.
4. Don’t quit. This is probably the most valuable piece of advice I’d ever received. Do not give up. Ever. Because if you do quit, you’ll never know if that next story was the one that would’ve been the one to finally sell, or break the second-book-syndrome curse.
What books should everyone read at least once?
I have two that I always recommend to writers. The first book every writer should read Stephen King’s ON WRITING at least once. I’ve never been a huge fan of how-to books. My research book tend toward specific subjects rather than how to switch point of view successfully. But King’s book is an invaluable resource for every writer. His advice about closing the door to write the first draft was spot on for me. That first draft is often ugly, at times rambling, occasionally it’s even incoherent. But if I close the door, unplug the phone and shut out the world, I find that I can lose myself in the story and let the characters come to life. Shut out the distractions and encourage the story to flow. Then, when you’re finished, open the door and polish that ugly beast into a something readers will hopefully enjoy.
The other would be Debra Dixon’s GOAL, MOTIVATION & CONFLICT. It’s the one how-to book that I feel is invaluable to any writer, but especially to those who write romance where conflict is often the driving force of the story.
Do you have any tips on how writers can relax?
Find something you enjoy doing, and do it. If you like to grow things, plant a garden. I’ve had several, from an herb garden, to veggies, annual flowers and a pretty elaborate perennial garden. There’s just something about digging in the dirt that relaxes me, even if I am battling weeds.
Take a class and learn a new skill. I recently learned how to can the goodies from my garden, so every August, things get a little busy around our house. I’ve also been wanting to learn how to quilt. One of these days, I will take that class and learn.
Just take a step away from the writing once in a while and go experience life. Take a walk or go see a movie or make a coffee date with your go-to-girls. If you don’t, then that creative well will eventually run dry, and that’s a nightmare no writer wants to suffer.
If you could have a dinner party and invite anyone dead or alive, who would you ask?
I would have to invite more than one person. First on the guest list would be Kathryn Graham. She was the publisher at the Washington Post during the Watergate scandal. You know that woman has some interesting stories to share.
Steven Spielberg, just because he’s so brilliant. Plus I’d love to see him do a movie based on the Watergate scandal, which would be so much more interesting than ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN. And if the late Kathryn Graham is going to be there, well, you see where this is going, right?
Then I would include Elton John and Bernie Taupin. I think Elton has led such an interesting life. Plus, wouldn’t it be fun to watch Elton and Bernie create something wonderful for the occasion? Maybe even do the score for the film we’d convince Steven he has to make.
I would have to include my go-to-girls because if Hugh Jackman, Clive Owen and Russell Crowe were my guests, my peeps would end me if I didn’t invite them. And the husband, because he would find this all very amusing.
When you are not writing, how do you like to relax?
I have many forms of relaxation, all of which do wonders to refill the creative well. I try to catch up on any one of my favorite shows which tend to pile up on my DVR. I’ll read a book, or work on a knitting, crochet or cross-stitch project. I enjoy gardening and I do so love movies. Oh, and cooking. I adore everything about it, from preparing the simplest dishes to the more difficult and creative to shopping for kitchen gadgets and cookware. I have expensive tastes in the cookware department, so those excursions are rare indeed, but they do give me a thrill. Luckily the husband is an adventurous eater, so menu planning is never a hassle.
Oh. And naps. It’s all about the naps.
Who is your favorite author and why?
I don’t have one single favorite author. In fact, any writer who can make me forget about the writing and become immersed in the story is usually destined to become a favorite. Thankfully there are several writers who can turn off my internal editor and lose me in their worlds. Depending upon my reading mood at any given moment, Karen Rose, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Lisa Gardner, Lisa Jackson, Linda Howard, Lisa Kleypas and Lori Wilde are my go-to auto-buys. Of course, anything written by my peeps goes on that list, too.
If I’m in the mood for suspense, I’ll gravitate toward Karen Rose first. I’ve been a fan since her first book. Her plotting skills leave me in awe. If I’m in the mood for a romantic comedy, then I look for Susan Elizabeth Phillips or Lori Wilde. If I want an emotional read, then it’s Lisa Kleypas.
What movie do you love to watch over and over again?
We are big movie fans in this house. My mom passed her love of the cinema on to me, for one. The other could be because I grew up in Southern California not far from Hollywood. It just seems sort of a natural thing.
I love romantic comedies – Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail, Pretty Woman, Friends with Benefits to name but a few. Anything with Kathy Bates, Tom Hanks, Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman or Clive Owen. I adore old black and white films, like Inherit the Wind or On the Waterfront, and all those crazy funny screwball comedies with Cary Grant or Carol Lombard. In fact, just last night I watched My Favorite Wife with Cary Grant and Irene Dunne. Thrillers capture my imagination, especially Silence of the Lambs, and I even enjoy the occasional horror movie, the jump out and scare you type, not the blood and gore type.
But, if I had to choose only one film as my all time, stop what I’m doing and sit down and watch movie, it would have to be the Shawshank Redemption. I’ve seen it dozens of time and it always draws me in, each and every time I catch it. I just wish I knew why.
Jamie’s passions do occasionally extend beyond writing. In those rare moments away from the computer, she’s refilling the creative well with a knitting project for one of her seventeen grandchildren, working a cross-stitch project or spending time in the kitchen trying out new recipes on her husband of nearly forty years. She can even be found curled up with a good book (what else but a romance?) along with Dudley and Maggie, her spoiled rotten…uh…pampered, pair of Golden Retrievers.