A Free Read from a Fab Writer!

 I’d like to welcome my friend Kitty Bucholtz to my blog today! Kitty writes chick lit and superhero urban fantasy with romantic comedy elements. (She just celebrated her 25th anniversary to her college sweetheart, so she’s got a lot of experience with rom-com!)

Her chick lit book Little Miss Lovesick is free this week on Kindle. Be sure to download it for your phone or computer using your Kindle app or directly onto your Kindle between Tuesday, May 19 and Saturday, May 23.

Here’s an excerpt for you to enjoy:

WE WERE all going to die.
My great escape into the wilderness of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to vanquish Heartbreak from my life was going to end in my early demise. And here I thought it was my broken heart that was killing me.
We’d been driving for over seven hours. The last town snuck past us an hour ago when we’d turned off the paved road. Pavement became gravel, then dirt, then two-tracks. The wooden hand-painted signs with arrows and mileage that marked our way made it feel like we were driving through another world. Like the kids through the wardrobe in the Narnia books. Okay, that part sounded kind of nice, actually.
Dirk would hate it here. No tennis courts in the forest. No skim lattes with soy milk and a sprinkle of cinnamon. And he certainly wouldn’t drive his BMW down a two-track through the woods with the top down.
I sighed. This was harder than I thought it’d be, getting Dirk out of my head. If I could exorcise him from my head, I’m sure my heart would heal faster. I was so tired of crying, of whining, of wishing life was different. All I wanted was to settle down with a husband and a house and a dog and 2.4 kids. I knew exactly how I wanted to decorate our home. I’d planned the kinds of parties we would have. We’d be part of the Neighborhood Watch team, and we’d plan block parties for 4th of July. We were going to have the perfect life together.
Then it all ended. Abruptly. Without warning. And I thought I was going to die. But that was four months ago. I had to find a way to get my life back again. Hence the trip into the wilderness.
Then I remembered we were all going to die. Who knew there was this much wilderness out there?
“How much gas do we have?” I called from the back of the fifteen-passenger van. I could just see the obituary.
Ten city girls who should have known better died last week when they drove a van through the wilderness without gassing up in the last town.
Yeah, that’s the way I can see my life ending right now. Great.
“There’s plenty of gas, don’t worry,” said Patty.
Patty McEntyre had organized this fly-fishing trip — an idea I’d loved before I became convinced of our imminent deaths. Patty had become my Mom-away-from-home since I’d moved to Traverse City two years ago. My mom and I talk, but we don’t communicate. Patty’s the one I trust to listen and give me good advice. Mom’s advice…well, she means well, but she’s a big Dirk fan.
See, I met Dirk — Frederick Wayne Schneider III — when we both worked for the same company in Lansing, Michigan, where we’re both from. All the girls lusted after him, but I was the lucky one who got to sigh into the mirror and say, “He picked me.” Naturally, when he moved north to Traverse City, I came with him.
Well, I followed him. Looking back, I see the difference. On the one hand, he didn’t want us to move in together to “protect my reputation.” On the other hand, he had no compunctions about sleeping with me. Silly me, I thought that if I saved myself for the man I’d marry, he’d actually marry me! Instead, after four years of promises, he dumped me. Said he was in love with someone else.
So there I was in Traverse City with a job I loved (turns out I’m a great residential realtor), an apartment I’d assumed would be temporary, and a naked ring finger. Completely heartbroken. After four months of tears, I’d decided I needed an escape. Well, Patty suggested it, and my best friend Emily signed us up. A girls-only fishing trip into the wilds of the Upper Peninsula with the Harbor View Nature Club.
Though if we didn’t find some kind of civilization soon, I had my doubts that we’d ever be seen or heard from again.
“Only fifteen miles to go,” Shelley said from behind the wheel.
“Fifteen miles?” Emily cried. “At five miles an hour, that’s three more hours!”
Emily Dodson, my best friend in the whole universe, had been unnaturally excited about this trip. I wanted her to come because she’s my best friend and I didn’t want to go alone. But I wasn’t prepared for her — well, exuberance. Emily’s a city girl. Well, as city as you can get where we live. She’s all about malls and looking great and having beautifully painted nails. She’s more Sex in the City than Northern Exposure. Emily had never even gone hiking with me. In a healthier state of mind, I would’ve seriously questioned her newfound desire to kill and cook her own dinner.
Patty smiled soothingly at us from the front passenger seat. “She’s teasing you. We’re almost there. Half an hour at the most.”
“That’ll make us look even more intelligent in our obituary,” I said. “‘Ten women died twenty minutes from civilization. It’s rumored that they drove in circles saying, ‘Just a few more minutes, a few more minutes.’”
Emily grunted. My pseudofascination with how I would die usually amused her. The fact that she wasn’t laughing meant she wasn’t so sure I was wrong this time.
She waved her cell phone. “It’s impossible to die in the wilderness if you’re anywhere near civilization in this day and age.” She sounded like she was trying to convince herself more than the rest of us.
I looked at her phone and quirked an eyebrow. “Oh yeah? How much longer do you think it’ll say, ‘Searching for signal’?”
Emily looked at her phone. “Panic” would aptly describe her expression. “Are you sure you know where we are, Patty?”
But twenty-eight minutes later (I looked at my watch so I could gauge time of death), the two-track suddenly opened into a huge yard of sorts, a meadow really. Obviously it was used as a parking lot because there were half a dozen vehicles there.
But wherever tire tracks hadn’t crushed them, the lively color of wildflowers sprang from the ground. The pine, birch, and maple trees joined together to form a harmony of forest around us. To the left as we pulled in was a two-story building with a quaint painted sign, “Abundance Creek Lodge and Store,” nailed above the door.
Next to the store stood what appeared to be the bunkhouse. Two, no, three little cottages peeked out from the woods on one side of the meadow. The first thing that came to mind when I saw them was The Three Little Pigs. It made me smile. So long as the Big Bad Wolf and all of his real life brothers stayed far away. Yikes. I’d forgotten the U.P. (Michigan-speak for the Upper Peninsula) had actual wolves. I tried not to think about it.
Thing is, I expected all of the buildings to be rugged, wooden structures, hardly a step up from tree forts. Wooden they were, but there was a sense of artistry here. Nothing like what I assumed men would build in the wilderness — or even what I figured men would choose if it were this pretty place or a more earthy, flea-infested fishing lodge.
But hey, I’m single, so what I know about men is obviously in question here.
I don’t know where I went wrong, sighed Little Miss Lovesick. I was so close to having it all.
Ignore her. I’m not Sybil or Eve or anything, but…well, you know those voices in your head? I named them. Not all of them, just the obnoxious ones. I mean, it’s nothing weird or anything. Okay, it is weird, but it’s better than talking out loud, right? Then everyone knows you’re crazy. Oh, forget it. Anyway
Shelley parked the van and we all spilled out, groaning and stretching. The feel of real, not-planted-by-human-hands grass under my feet made me take off my sandals. I sighed with pleasure as the long grass enveloped my feet. This trip was a great idea.
“I hope they sell fudge,” said Tracey, a marketing consultant I remembered from a previous Nature Club excursion.
“Why?” I asked. “We just drove here from the fudge capital of the world.”
She laughed. “But now we’re the ones on vacation. We can act like Fudgies and the locals can wish we’d spend our money and leave.”
It’s true. That’s what we call tourists in Traverse City — Fudgies. They’re always backing up traffic when they try to turn into a fudge shop unexpectedly. Very annoying when you’re trying to get somewhere. On the other hand, you have to be grateful for the economic boost. Me especially, since sometimes it’s a “Fudgie” buying a vacation home that helps me make rent.
Of course, the fact that you pay rent and not a mortgage is Dirk’s fault, said Pride (Sergeant Pride, I call him). You give the man love, loyalty, sex (!), and what do you get? The old kick in the caboose. Jerk.
Turns out Mom was right about the milk and the cow, sighed another Voice.
Whatever. I mentally stuck my tongue out at myself. I would be institutionalized — or medicated at the very least — if anyone ever found out about all the voices in my head.
Everyone followed Patty into the store. Everyone but me. I waved Emily off, deciding I needed to breathe in some soothing, wilderness air. The sugar blues that follow a sugar buzz wasn’t helping my roller coaster of emotions. I decided to self-medicate. I opened another candy bar and a can of Sprite from our stash.
Starting today, I would force my broken heart to heal if it was the last thing I did. Then maybe I’d lock it away someplace safe.
Don’t say that, said Little Miss Lovesick. Love is the most wonderful thing in the world. You just need to find true love.
True love. That’s what I wanted, but if I thought I had it once and I was wrong, how was I ever going to know how to find it for real?
I walked through the grass, trying unsuccessfully not to tread on the flowers. Closing my eyes, I savored the feel of the breeze on my face. Ahh, heaven. Feeling calmer, I folded the empty candy wrapper and stuck it in my pocket. I took a swallow of ice cold Sprite as I climbed the porch steps—
And ran smack into an opening screen door. Which wouldn’t have been so bad except the body moving through the door was moving in my direction and crashed into me. Cold Sprite sloshed down my shirt, making me gasp.
“Damn! Are you all right?” A hand cupped my cheek and moved the screen door away from my face. Cold Sprite dripped all down my front. I took a step backward in an awkward attempt to get away. I felt my balance wobble. The hand firmly gripped my elbow, moving me away from the danger of the stairs.
Sputtering from the pop up my nose and in one eye, I wiped at my eyes and squinted to see what had just happened.
It’s The Diet Coke Man, Little Miss Lovesick choked out.
I know I watch too many YouTube videos, but Lovesick may have been right. The Diet Coke Man from the “11:30” commercials was standing right in front of me. A flash of the commercial where the office women ogle the construction worker across the street blew through my brain. Dark hair and piercing eyes, built like a Viking. The way his black T-shirt outlined his muscular form did nothing to remind me that Heartbreak was the reason I had to get away.
Luscious, said Lovesick.
Holy… I tried to squeegee the liquid from my eye. Yeah, he looked equally fabulous with both eyes open. He stared at me in a concerned way that made my stomach flutter. I kind of liked men who looked at a woman this way. Like all you had to do was say the word and they’d fix whatever was broken.
The Diet Coke Man brushed drops of Sprite from my cheek and chin and I immediately sprang back, which only caused him to grasp my elbow tighter as I fell onto a lower step. Theoretically, I liked that kind of man. Realistically, I needed to keep my distance.
“Excuse me!” I found my footing and backed out of reach. He let go when I grabbed the handrail on the stairs.
“Sorry, sorry.” He wiped his damp hand on his jeans, and had the grace to look embarrassed. “Are you all right?” He was dangerously appealing standing there trying to help, looking both embarrassed and amused.
I shook my wet right hand, not really wanting to wipe it on my shorts (like a guy), and wiped my face with my left hand. My cold chest caught my gaze and I gasped, pulling the fabric away from my body.
“Fine!” Did I look fine? My shirt was white and wet. My bra was black and lacey. I glared at him so he knew I was lying about being fine. He couldn’t have noticed my glare, however, because he was staring at—
Look for a ring, Lovesick murmured.
You’re not looking for a wedding ring on a stranger who knocked you down and is now ogling your breasts, declared Sergeant Pride.
“Uh, wait right here,” said The Diet Coke Man, and he rushed back inside. As he opened the door, my eyes followed his left hand — but accidentally. Didn’t matter. Couldn’t tell. A moment later he was back, ripping a wad of napkins from a plastic package.
I swear, if he started dabbing at my chest with them like Hugh Grant did to Julia Roberts in Notting Hill, I’d pour the rest of my pop over his head.


Kitty Bucholtz writes superhero urban fantasy and romantic comedy, often with an inspirational element woven in. After she earned her MA in Creative Writing, she decided to become a writer-turned-independent-publisher, forming Daydreamer Entertainment and self-publishing her first novel in late 2011. She loves to teach writing workshops online at WriterEntrepreneurGuides.com and in person.

Rescued from Ruin Nominated for Best Historical Cover

 Rescued from Ruin, my Regency from Harlequin, is one of 15 finalist in the Historical category in the 2014 Romance Cover Contest hosted by Cover Cafe! 

You have to vote in three categories for your vote to count, so please head over to their site and check out all the great covers, including mine, and vote!

A New Cover & A New Version of Lady's Wager

Earlier this year, I received the rights back to my first novel which was published in 2008. I'm excited to announce the rerelease of Lady's Wager, a story of an heiress, a Viscount and a wager which leads to marriage. I've heightened the emotions and deepened the internal conflicts in this new version of my sweet, traditional Regency romance.
 I hope you'll please check it out. 
It's available on Amazon.

Lady's Wager is a well-written, classic historical romance.” – Joyfully Reviewed 

Charlotte Stuart is an heiress dedicated to charitable causes who's been betrayed by the false love of a fortune hunter before. Ridiculed by Paris society for her mistake, she vows never to fall victim to the weakness of love again. Driven back to England by the collapse of the Peace of Amiens, she enters London society and meets Lord Edward Woodcliff, a handsome Viscount in straightened circumstances. Falling for Edward means risking being humiliated again.

Edward has come to London to find a wife. Made leery of marriage by his father’s disastrous second marriage, Edward feigns poverty in order to find a woman who loves him and not his wealth. He loses his heart to the independent and spirited Charlotte, but her fear of being betrayed, and his hesitation to make a matrimonial mistake, prove difficult to overcome.

All seems hopeless until Edward challenges Charlotte to a wager. If he wins, he gains her hand in marriage. If he loses, then Charlotte is free of him. Charlotte accepts the wager only to lose her hand and her heart to Edward. Now Charlotte must put aside her fears of being betrayed by love long enough to let Edward into her life and admit he is the man of her dreams.

A Debt Paid in Marriage is Now Available!

Welcome to March everyone. My Harlequin Historical,
Is now available. Please check it out!

"Lee takes readers on an uncomplicated, but sexy romp...as Laura takes drastic measures to save her business." - RT Book Reviews A Debt Paid in Marriage

Laura Townsend's plan to reclaim her family's merchandise backfires when she creeps into moneylender Philip Rathbone's house and threatens him with a pistol, only to find him reclining naked in his bath! 

The last thing she expects is to see this guarded widower on her doorstep a couple of days later armed with a very surprising proposal. A marriage of convenience may be Laura's chance to reclaim her future, but she won't settle for anything less than true passion. 
Can she hope to find it in Philip's arms? 

Harlequin * B&N * Kobo * Amazon

The Romance Reviews 4th Anniversary Party

Thanks for stopping by from The Romance Reviews 4th Anniversary Party. Scroll down to read about A Debt Paid in Marriage, my March Harlequin Historical and to find the answer to my trivia question. Good luck!

"Lee takes readers on an uncomplicated, but sexy romp...as Laura takes drastic measures to save her business." - RT Book Reviews A Debt Paid in Marriage

Laura Townsend's plan to reclaim her family's merchandise backfires when she creeps into moneylender Philip Rathbone's house and threatens him with a pistol, only to find him reclining naked in his bath! 

The last thing she expects is to see this guarded widower on her doorstep a couple of days later armed with a very surprising proposal. A marriage of convenience may be Laura's chance to reclaim her future, but she won't settle for anything less than true passion. 
Can she hope to find it in Philip's arms? 

Harlequin * B&N * Kobo * Amazon

London—spring 1817

    ‘Miss Marston, please meet my intended, Miss Townsend,’ Mr Rathbone intervened, the stiff mask of business descending over Philip’s face and covering the faint hint of emotion Laura had caught.    ‘Miss Marston is Thomas’s nurse.’
  ‘Oh, Miss Townsend, it’s a pleasure to meet you.’ Mrs Marston’s smile was more surprised than relieved. Laura suspected she’d encounter many similar reactions in the days to come. ‘Mr Rathbone, Thomas awoke crying and nothing I do will calm him. You always have such a way with him. I thought you might come to the nursery for a moment.’
   ‘Yes, I will.’ He started for the door, then paused. ‘Miss Townsend, come and meet the gentleman who is part of our arrangement.’
    His command given, he didn’t wait for her. Mrs Marston wasn’t at all surprised by the abruptness and followed her employer out of the room.
    Laura walked behind them, the cries of a very young child growing louder as they stepped into the hallway. Mr Rathbone and Mrs Marston made steady strides for the door at the far end, but Laura’s progress was slower. When she at last reached the room, the sight inside amazed her. Mr Rathbone stood with the small child in his arms, a little face pressed against his coat, the tears soaking into the wool. One chubby hand clutched his lapel, wrinkling the perfectly pressed crease.
    ‘What’s wrong, Thomas? Did you have a bad dream?’ Mr Rathbone’s steady voice filled the quiet as he shifted back and forth on the toes of his boots. ‘You have nothing to worry about. I’m here.’
    His deep voice conjured up memories of her father holding her and wiping away her tears after a nightmare. It seemed like such a long time since she’d felt so safe and loved. His words curled around her insides, soothing her as they did the boy until she wanted to lay her head on Mr Rathbone’s shoulder and cry away all her frustrations and fears from the past year.
   ‘He has such a way with the boy,’ Mrs Marston murmured from beside her.
   ‘Yes, he does.’
    Whatever reasons she’d had for wanting to wait a month for the wedding disappeared. Too many things might happen in four weeks. He could change his mind and Laura didn’t want to go back to the stinking Seven Dials and the cold, lonely desperation which crept like the damp through those wretched rooms. Even if she never knew the same affection he showed his son, just being in the presence of such love eased the hopelessness and despair she’d suffered for far too long. She didn’t want to lose that.

Tea & Photography Gift Baskets

With spring just around the corner, a lot of silent auctions are coming up. Below are three baskets I've created for recent events. 

The first basket is a black and white photography themed basket. I took a number of coffee table books and some beautiful prints from the Museum of Photographic Arts and combined them with my 1935 Hollywood novel, Studio Relations. I also added a DVD of the movie Letters from Iwo Jima because the box is a beautiful sepia tone that goes with the theme of the basket. For fun I added two martini glasses and some black and white samples of Vox vodka and put in another pop of red with a small box of chocolate.

The second basket I did was a more traditional tea and books basket. I found a lovely blue teapot and a blue mug and added a tin of tea and a small jar of honey. Behind the cup and pot, I added a number of historical romances, including my Regency romance The Courtesan's Book of Secrets to help make someone's Saturday relaxing.

The last basket I did was for a Mardi Gras event. 

I don't normally photograph the baskets in the plastic, but as I was getting ready to run out of the house and drop this off, I realized I'd forgotten to take a picture. This was my contemporary romance basket. I included a bottle of wine, a tote bag, wine glasses, a notebooks, a hunky cowboy bookmark and a number of contemporary romances. I was told the by event organizers that this was one of their "hot item" baskets and very popular.

I hope you enjoy this little peek at the baskets I enjoy making and find some inspiration for baskets of your own.

For the Love of Books Hop

My favorite romance of all time is A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux. A friend gave this to me in high school and I was hooked. I went on to read almost everything Jude Deveraux wrote. Here it is on my keeper shelf. It is a classic tale of time travel, love and redemption. This book was one of the many that inspired me to become a romance writer.

Book blurb

Abandoned by a cruel fate, lovely Dougless Montgomery lies weeping upon a cold tombstone in an English church. Suddenly, the most extraordinary man appears. It is Nicholas Stafford, Earl of Thornwyck…and according to his tombstone he died in 1564.

Drawn to his side by a bond so sudden and compelling it overshadows reason, Dougless knows that Nicholas is nothing less than a miracle: a man who does not seek to change her, who finds her perfect, fascinating, just as she is. What Dougless never imagined was how strong the chains are that tie them to the past…or the grand adventure that lay before them.

Check out Beck Valley Book's post to see the other blog participating in the hop.

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for more great information on me and my books.