Anxious Love by Me- Release Day!!!

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Blurb:  Trauma, isolation, courage, love. . .  Anxious Love

Hopeful about his future after overcoming loss, Ryan Ware is living his dream life as a first round draft pick. He’s enjoying every crazy minute of fame, fortune, and gorgeous women.

Despite being the most sought-after writer in romance, severe anxiety keeps Leah Jones isolated. Having a regimented life keeps the triggers at bay that could put her back in the hospital, perhaps permanently.

A chance meeting in New Orleans, Leah’s brown eyes capture Ryan’s heart, and he vows to learn more about this reclusive beauty.

Can Leah’s anxieties withstand Ryan’s crazy life? Can Ryan learn enough about real love to be the right man for Leah?

Anxious Love contains explicit scenes of a sexual nature and is not suitable for readers under 18 years of age. 


Excerpt:  Because of my anxiety, I perceived the world differently. The medicine helped, but when it wore off, it wasn’t like Cinderella’s carriage turning back into a pumpkin at precisely midnight.

It was more subtle, more gradual. It was a whole different way of reacting to the world, and it took a little more concentration. Something I couldn’t do with him studying me.

But then he rubbed his hand up my arm and he licked his lips and leaned into me and the world slowed down.

“Hey, you okay?”

I concentrated on his voice but couldn’t stop staring at his lips. I tried to pull my gaze away from them, from him, but I couldn’t. His facial expressions made me feel adored, and I didn’t want to miss a thing.

I leaned in further to get a better look, but my eyes closed and the next thing I knew, his lips touched mine. I pulled back a little and opened my eyes. The world caught up to whatever dimension we were in. It was much too abrupt for the moment, and I felt on the verge of a panic attack, but then I thought, maybe …

I closed my eyes, leaned in, and kissed him again. My lips parted and I licked them, but my tongue rubbed against his lips and retreated. We were so close. His lips shifted into a grin, and I parted my lips in surprise. He reached his hand behind my neck and pulled me closer as his tongue entered between mine.

A muffled giggled escaped, and I was surprised to find it came from me. It disappeared into his mouth, which made him grin and pull back. The world stayed calm as I thought about how his lips felt on mine. His tongue swiped against my tongue with confidence. I opened my eyes and peered into his. They were no longer light; they had a definite dark hue and the color swarmed as if wondering how to take in the person they saw before them.

Is it possible that I found something else to balance me?

I leaned back, but as his hand slipped away from my cheek, I placed my hand on it to keep him firmly in place. I looked off to my right and the streetcar clinked by and people were strolling down St. Charles Avenue. I turned to my left and watched a group of kids cut across the park on their way home from school.

I turned back to Ryan and smiled. He smiled back, and to thank him, I kissed him.

I removed my hand from his, satisfied it would stay where I wanted it. My hand reached out to touch his chest. I wanted to confirm it was as solid as I imagined. My brief hug a few nights before had only hinted at it.

I touched his skin peeking out the top of his t-shirt and ran my knuckle across the top. It was his turn to shiver, but it deepened the kiss as his tongue pressed into my mouth. I flatted my head on his chest and pressed back; he was solid, unmovable. He laid a soft little kiss on my mouth before pulling back and looking down at my hand splayed across his chest.

His face tilted and he stared with a sexy grin.

“Did you just kiss me?” he asked in a whispered tone.

The Reviews are in: 

“I seriously LOVE this story it was incredible.” – Karen Book Addiction

“The emotions were honest and so where the feelings.” – Kels

“This novel made me laugh and cry.” -Anakalia

Blank empty tablet computer on beach. Summer accessories  pool.

Hipmunk Hotels: Family Fun in Santa Cruz, Carlsbad, Fresno, Costa Mesa and Obispo

My family recently had a travel planning session over Sunday dinner. We threw around ideas for the family vacation we take every five years. Our trips are unique because they have to appease everyone from age six to seventy years old. I did my research and suggested the California coast. These are some of the cool destinations I found that would make great family vacation spots.

Santa Cruz, California

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The boardwalk is an underrated attraction in a beach town. It’s so much fun for people who love the beach but hate the sand. Take a stroll on the Santa Cruz boardwalk and you’ll find that it offers attractions such as local dining and amusement park rides. If you stay on the boardwalk, you have quick access to the beautiful Pacific Ocean beach. I can already taste the salt water taffy.


Carlsbad, California

An upscale ocean town, Carlsbad’s beach side resorts offer family-friendly times for everyone. It’s a vacation where you can all stay in one spot and it has tons to offer, including beautiful beaches with water sports like paddle boarding, jet skiing, and surfing. The golf courses are some of the most pristine and challenge in the world. Some of the resorts also offer children’s programs where adults go one way and the kids go another — great for a mixed aged group like mine. If you have to leave the resort, spend a day at Legoland. The Star Wars models alone are worth the trip.

Fresno, California

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Fresno, California is a little known gem, and I think you’ll find it a great destination for its festivals alone. If you go in August, check out the Greekfest, the premier Greek food festival. For three days, the family can sample Greek food from famous and local chefs, hear music from Greek musicians and learn more about Greek culture and heritage. The kids will love spending time in the Olympic Village and learning about the origin of the games.

Costa Mesa, California

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While not on the coast, Costa Mesa is close enough to be a great city to centrally locate yourself for a great time in Orange County. The town prides itself on having beautiful parks and golf courses. One of its main attractions every year is the Orange County Fair, which draws millions of people each year. It has everything you want in a County Fair: greasy, fattening food, rides, attractions and cool shows.

San Luis Obispo, California

Further north of the cities I’ve mentioned, in a valley on highway 101, is the little town of San Luis Obispo. I put it on the list because my nieces and nephews, forever glued to their phones and devices, need to set them down and get in touch with nature. I don’t think they’ve ever walked further than a quarter of a mile outdoors. In San Luis Obispo, enjoying the outdoors is the city’s favorite pastime. Beautiful walking and hiking trails cross through this town. The scenery is beautiful and it still close enough to the coast for you to enjoy the beach as well.

Where would you go for a perfect family vacation? 

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Hipmunk Hotels: Good Eats in Santa Fe, Stateline, Boise, Wailea and Glenwood Springs

My bucket list travel has taken me to the west of this great country several times. I love this part of America. I think it has to do with where I’m from. I love how these cities embrace the past and the future to make them a great place to visit and to eat.

Santa Fe, New Mexico

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As a Texan, I understand how latin culture influences my everyday life. It’s worked into the fabric of the city I live in. I imagine Santa Fe, New Mexico is the same. Inspired by its Native American, Spanish and Mexican heritage, it is clear in the architecture of the hotels, buildings and homes. All ethnicities are shown in the food, too. You can find Mexican chocolate, mole sauces and Navaho bread in any neighborhood restaurant. That is an everyday way of life for locals in Santa Fe and an experience to savor for its visitors.

Stateline, Nevada

I spent several summers in the Stateline, Lake Tahoe area. It is probably one of the most beautiful patches of earth in the United States. It has so much to offer. The hotels are amazing. Whether you like winter or summer, water or mountain, water skiing or snow boarding, Stateline is the perfect adventure mecca. It is home to a small group of casinos that would make Vegas proud. With big time casinos comes big time events. None bigger then the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino’s annual Reggae Festival. The highlight of the festival besides the music is the Jamaican inspired food.

Boise, Idaho

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Located in the southern part of Idaho, Boise is the capital and has the most people, but with a population of 200,00, it a small town. I love small towns. Known as the City of Trees, there are plenty of great parks and sites to enjoy. The city offers great hotels in the city center and some of the nice down home restaurants. And, there is nothing like a small town diner for breakfast, my favorite meal of the day.

Wailea, Maui

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Wailea is my favorite spot in all of Hawaii. The beaches are pristine and not too crowded. The hotels are beautiful with amazing amenities and of course, beaches. The food is amazing. Locally sources fruits and vegetables and an ocean full of fresh seafood. I love the idea of my fish and shrimp swimming the morning of my meal.

Glenwood Springs, Colorado

Glenwood Springs has hot springs, tram rides, caverns and spas. This activity laced Lake town in central Colorado boast some of the most majestic views in all of Colorado. While their mountains aren’t big, they are just as beautiful and offer its visitors any outdoor activity imaginable. For such a small mountain town, Glenwoods has an array of hotels and a diverse amount of food. You should try one of the historic taverns in the town square. Grab a pint, sit back and watch the sun set over the mountains and be grateful for natures beauty.

What are your favorite western inspired foods?  

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How to Pack for a Destination Marathon

This post was originally published on Hipmunk’s Tailwind Blog on March 18, 2016.

Traveling for a marathon? Great! Not only is training for and running a marathon its own reward, but choosing to attend a destination race is a great excuse to travel to new places.

There’s just one caveat: It can be easy to let pre-race jitters cause you to lose focus and forget critical gear. If you want to avoid feeling unprepared at the starting line, simply refer to this handy checklist whenever you’re preparing for a non-local race.

In addition to your usual running staples—including (but certainly not limited to) running shoes, a fuel belt, a GPS watch, hair ties or a headband, and so on—here’s what to keep in mind when packing for a destination marathon.


Squeeze it All in a Carry-On

You know the panic that sets in upon arriving at baggage claim and realizing your bag has been lost? Imagine how much worse it is when said bag contained your running shoes and marathon gear. Avoid this agony by packing everything into a carry-on. If you must check a bag with extra clothing and accessories, at the very least make sure that your race-day essentials stay with you at all times.

Pack Layers

No matter where you’re going, it’s smart to pack for all kinds of weather. Temperatures can swing wildly between the start of a race and its end, particularly when you’re starting out early in the morning or running at high elevations. And then, of course, there’s the ever-present risk of rain, wind, intense sun, and freak weather events. Prepare for it all by bringing along a variety of layers, a running hat, gloves, sunglasses, a racing jacket and tights, and so on. This is particularly important if you’re traveling to a climate that’s different from the one in which you’ve trained (say, from New York to Colorado or from Australia to NYC). Since your body won’t be adjusted to that climate, weather changes may feel more extreme. It’s important to have the right apparel on hand so you can be as comfortable as possible. While you’re at it, go ahead and pack a back-up base outfit for race day—that way you’ll be covered in case anything gets wet or ripped.

Dress to Compress

Regardless of whether you’re traveling via air or car, it’s a smart idea to wear compression socks during the trip. Doing so will help reduce swelling and prevent blood from pooling in your lower legs while you sit for extended time periods. (For the same reason, it’s also a good idea to stand up and walk around at least once every hour.) Helping your blood circulate properly in transit will ensure that your legs don’t feel like deadweights on race day.

Pack Healthy Snacks

Rest stops and airplanes aren’t exactly known for their healthy fare. If you’re concerned about pre-race nutrition (and you probably should be), it’s a good idea to bring along your own healthy snacks to consume in transit. Also pack your own energy gels and other snacks if you’re wedded to particular brands—if you’re traveling across state or country lines, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to find your favorite brand(s) once you reach your destination. And remember to bring along a water bottle—staying hydrated is critical if you want to feel energized on race day.

Be Kind to Your Skin

Marathons require runners to physically exert themselves outside for multiple hours—so it’s important to pack some sunscreen. Not only will it keep your skin healthier, but it will also spare you from having to add “sunburn” to your list of aches and pains the day after the race. Many runners also swear by Body Glide as a means of reducing skin friction during the race and minimizing pain and discomfort after it.

Stock a Post-Race Recovery Kit

While it’s most critical to pack essentials for the actual marathon, it’s also important to think about what you’ll need once the race is done. Put together apost-race kit that includes flip flops (or other comfy shoes), clean socks, an extra outfit, warm layers, snacks, face wipes and/or a towel, and a first aid kit.

Consider Entertainment

Before traveling, put together a playlist(s) that you can listen to both during your travels and before or during your race. Listening to music or podcasts is a great way to pass the time while you’re traveling and soothe any jitters leading up to the race.

Utilize Plastic Bags

Given all the gels and fluids that most marathoners are wont to carry with them, it’s a good idea to make plastic bags your new best friend for the duration of your trip. Store your cell phone in a sandwich bag, and bring along a few extras in case that one is the victim of exploding energy gels. It’s also a good idea to pack your post-race clothes in gallon-size Ziplocs—then, come race day, you can look forward to changing into a dry pair of clothes no matter the weather.


Plan to Recharge

These days, many runners choose to use a Garmin, GPS watch, iPod, smartphone, or other technological accoutrement while running. If you’re in this camp, then it’s important to remember to pack the respective chargers for all of this gear. If you’re traveling abroad, keep in mind that power sources and plugs will probably be different than in the US—stock up on adaptors prior to leaving the country.

Bring the Right Paperwork

If you’ve been issued a race form, waiver, bib, and/or chip in advance of the race, remember to stash these in your carry-on. You may also want to bring along proof of time (if you’re hoping to move up in the corrals), pace charts, and your travel itinerary. If you’re traveling internationally, don’t forget your passport and any necessary visas.

Once you’ve accounted for everything on this list, it’s time to sit back, breathe, and rest easy. You’ll have everything you need for your race. Now all you need to focus on is getting across the finish line.

Hipmunk Hotels: Best Traditional Hotels in Albany, Ithaca, Syracuse and More

This post was originally published on Dish Our Town.

Photo Credit via Creative Commons Paul SablemanPhoto Credit via Creative Commons Paul Sableman

When people refer to New York, they often think of New York City. The state, however, is vast and has a lot more to offer than skyscrapers and a busy lifestyle. A few hours north, in the upstate region of the state, are cities that offer some of the most beautiful landscape in the country. Along with the scenery comes wonderful culture, entertainment, and dining. It also has a lot to offer when it comes to traditional hotel stays.


Albany is the state capital and has a lot to offer any visitor. Staying at the Morgan State House maximizes that visit by putting its guests in the heart of the city.

With Lark Street, also known as Albany’s “village in the city”, right outside its front door, the Morgan State House is well situated for guests to enjoy the restaurant, cafe, museums and entertainment scene that the city has to offer.

Like many Albany hotels, this venue is well appointed with luxurious bedding, cable television, and Wi-Fi. Perfectly traditional in its aesthetic, it does not get much more charming than this place. Rooms start at $98 pernight.


Ithaca sits on the shores of Cayuga Lake. Situated on a hill surrounded by dense forests, towering waterfalls, and gorges, Ithaca is a natural wonder. There is, of course, the added value of the city being the home of Ivy League university Cornell, and you’ll never lack for beautiful, traditional Ithaca hotels.

A wonderful place to stay is Homewood Suites by Hilton. Though part of a large hotel chain, this specific hotel has a very traditional feel about it. All suites are well-appointed with fully equipped kitchens, separate living areas, lush bedding, and bathroom amenities. Traditional wooden furnishings abound as well as modern luxuries, such as 32’ flatscreen televisions and Wi-Fi. Rooms start at $190 per night.


Stamford is in the heart of the famous Catskills, known as one of the most favored sites for outdoors lovers. Stay at the Colonial B&B Stamford and enjoy a wonderful, traditional experience. The rooms harken upon a luxurious time of yore. Excellent service along with well-appointed, luxurious rooms make this one of the most sought-after Stamford hotels. Rooms start at $190 per night.


Syracuse may be the most well-known city in this region. Much of its fame can be attributed to Syracuse University. The university and its athletic program put the city on the map. Accommodations can be hard to come by, especially at the height of basketball season. Though it is part of a large hotel chain, the Springhill Suites by Marriott gives its guests a special traditional feel, and it’s one of the most beautiful hotels in Syracuse. Highlights include an indoor swimming pool and a state of the art fitness center. Rates start at $150 per night.


We can’t talk about New York and not mention a good option for a East Elmhurst hotel. It’s hard to find an affordable and traditional stay in New York City itself, so one way of being able to do this is to stay in one of the suburbs. One of the best areas to do this is in East Elmhurst. The One Boutique Hotel isn’t necessarily traditional as far as the aesthetic is concerned, but it’s traditional in the way they value their guests.

The rooms are spacious and well-appointed, while the amenities are endless, ranging from an excellent spa to great dining. Service, of course, is second to none.

Book a room at these wonderful hotels. You’ll enjoy all New York has to offer outside of the city and enjoy a traditional stay.