Let’s Get Personal

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Today, I drove to the mall to pick up an order I’d placed at a major department store. It was a shop-online-but-pick-up-at-the-store-to-avoid-the-exorbitant-shipping-fees, quick trip. The item I ordered was a personal item. Let’s just leave it at that for the moment.

I really like this mall. It’s close to home so I can make it happen fast. It’s upscale, clean, has all the major stores and a handful of smaller independent shops. Very chic, as malls in the upper Midwest go.

Well, the weather here is like minus-forever-degrees-Fahrenheit and we’ve had so much 2-22-14 walk 056snow, unless you’re driving a Mack truck, you’re driving blind through a tunnel of white… because the snow plows have nowhere to pile the snow. So, we’re like burrowing bunnies, in prohibitively cold weather, with the north wind driving the temperature even lower (I’ll stop now… I kind of like complaining about the weather… wait! Did I mention it is steal-your-breath-beautiful?!)

I’d never ordered online from this store before, so first I had to figure out where in the heck “parcel pickup” was… Turns out, it was in back of the hardware department. This is only funny because hardware is in no way related to the “personal item” I ordered… and the only tool I’ve ever bought in my life is a hammer…

hammerI walked through hardware (feeling no temptation whatever to buy anything :), and into the parcel pick-up area only to find myself standing in a half-sheltered, open area. The wind whistled in, men were lined up five deep, and I realized this is where people come to pick up refrigerators and heavy equipment and 362” TV screens; things of that nature.

This couldn’t be the right place to pick up my “personal item”.

So, I backtracked, happy to step inside out of the wind into the warm, and made my way to grizzled geeserthe tool counter. The clerk was waiting on a guy who’d driven something like 272 miles from the back country. Grizzled hair, long streaky white beard, creased skin, ancient eyes and big as a mountain in his beaver skin coat, I couldn’t possibly guess his age. In no apparent hurry, he engaged the clerk in conversation while he wrote a check (who writes checks anymore?) and then rewrote it because he made an error. And then, I kid you not, had to write it a third time, all the while explaining he’d never gone to school.

I had to kick down my impatience. After all, he’d gotten there first, and there would be no rushing him. He talked about the drive, the cold, his lack of education, and finally as the clerk handed him his receipt, coupons and online survey request (reams and reams of narrow, curling paper) the old man took the receipts in his ham of a fist, stuffed them into his wallet and said, “I’ll just have the wife look at these. She’ll figure it all out.”

Then he turned and looked at me directly for the first time. “You’ve been mighty patient twinkle eyethere, little lady.” He tipped his black and red checkered wool cap and I swear he twinkled. No, I mean I saw his eyes gleam like a Disney character just before he waddled away, bent under the weight of that massive beaver coat.

I asked the clerk where I go to pick up small items. You just know he sent me back to that cold open area… where instead of a clerk, there’s a computer with an extremely loud voice that repeats everything you enter into it.

Seven men were ahead of me. When it was my turn, I entered my information, and took a step back as the computer volume blasted me, repeating the information I’d entered.

Yay, now all seven men knew my name and most of my address… come on store! What are you thinking???!!

Moments later, three clerks appeared on the scene. Two men and a woman, each wearing overhauls, insulated vests, fingerless gloves and back harnesses to help them lift behemoth objects. They looked at the overhead screen display showing all eight of our names in full… (good thing I don’t have paranoia or security concerns…) and then, as if they were a seasoned choir, chorused, “what is your order?”

I tell you, I almost turned and ran.

Seven male customers, two male clerks, and a woman clerk stared at me waiting to hear what I ordered.

I ask you… what was the point of standing out the in the cold and entering my order information into the computer that then announced my name and most of my address out loud to be overheard by anyone in the vicinity, if the computer didn’t know what my order was?

I tried a low tone, hoping to keep my order private. “It’s a personal item.”

The two male clerks looked at each other and tried not to smirk. The woman grinned and said, “Honey, it’s all personal.” She waved the guys off and then asked again, “Okay, what’s the item?”

Seven men leaned forward.

I whispered, “Clothing.”

She rolled her eyes. “Sure honey, but what kind of clothing? We stack the merchandise by like item. Gotta know what I’m looking for.”

By now, I didn’t know whether to laugh or run. Is there no such thing as privacy anymore? It just seemed so ludicrous that I was standing outside, in a heavy equipment area, waiting to pick up a personal clothing item.

I eyed the seven men who had the decency to act like they weren’t listening… um hmmmm… right.

Here’s the thing. I really wanted my personal item, and it’s not always that easy to find, which is why I ordered it online. When I find something that works, something I like—I mean something I really like, then I get that same thing over and over.

Now, if you’ve ever been bra shopping, then you know almost every woman will tell 3 brasyou that finding the right bra is a true challenge. It’s so difficult, Oprah did several television specials about how to find the right bra. So, when you do find the perfect fit, it’s frustratig that so often the manufacturer stops making it by the time you need a new one. This particular bra is perfect. It’s black, low cut, works with most necklines—even the really low ones. Gives me the right amount of lift and I can wear it to work out in, or out to dinner. I LOVE THIS BRA!

So, I gave up all hope of any modicum of privacy and said, “It’s a BRA.”

Seven men plus two male clerks… and every single one of them zeroed in on my order as if I’d said, “Solid gold bricks from Ft. Knox.”

Honestly, lingerie… it’s more powerful than any tool in any hardware section of any store, SupermanXrayLoisTop460and apparently far more fascinating than anything those seven men ordered because as my package was delivered into my hands (plain brown wrapper LOL) all seven of them stared at it as if they were Superman with x-ray vision.

Wishing you soft breezes, unstoppable love, and privacy when you need it!

Love,
Rebecca E. Grant
Love is Unstoppable
www.rebeccaegrant.com

NAKED HOPE: Contemporary Romance
CRADLE OF LIES: Romantic Suspense
LIBERTY STARR: Contemporary Cowboy Romance
ARIANA SINGS: One Woman’s Journey to Find Her Voice nonfiction, spirituality

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Love is Unstoppable

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Well, let’s see… it’s been awhile since I gave a weather report.

I live in Minnesota; one of the coldest regions of upper Midwest USA. And for whatever reason, in the last two years, we have apparently been vying for “largest snowfall of the year” award… and winning… (in addition to the cold)!

Which is to say that I’m sitting in my sunroom (and I ask you… is it a sunroom if there’s no sun?) looking out into a grey sky, watching giant snowflakes zoom in schizophrenic zig-zags, caught in a blustery airstream so chaotic, I have to tell myself to breathe deeply to keep the frenetic energy outside—and not let it seep into my being.

More snow…

Yesterday, I couldn’t get my car into the drive until the plow guys came.

Two days ago, the postal carrier slid into the mailboxes because of the ice and snow. Knocked them over and there they were, leaning at a crazy angle and when I went to remove my mail, it all dumped out into the snow…

Three days ago, my widowed, elderly neighbor died. I live in a twin home. We share a common wall, but I never heard a thing. Her family came and went and because it’s so cold, I haven’t been venturing out, so I never saw them. I never heard them until yesterday, when in yet another snow, I saw their tire treads and wondered why they would leave the warmth of Arizona and visit in THIS weather. Never dreaming…

It made me wonder about how we live such separate lives—all of us—at least those of us who are fortunate enough to live in advanced countries where we have our own space—our own real estate—our own walls. Where even our shared walls keep out the cries and moans of the dying and the grieving.

So, what am I saying here?

1-5-14 Long Beach 077 (2)About a week ago, I returned from a short vacation in sunny Long Beach, California where the weather turned my spirit into something nearly as wild and free as the characters in my books 🙂

But, upon my return, I found I needed to gather all my energy and light around me and go deep into myself for some introspection. About the next book. About surviving winter. About life. The introspection helps create a shift in perspective and kick-start purpose.

And so I sat in the silence, pierced by nothing but more silence, aware of my knee jerk reaction to respond to the phone, texts, email and online chats beckoned, coercing me at regular intervals to “come out and play”.

But I stayed my course. Remained in the white space of solitude. Asking for courage to continue through winter. Asking for courage to write the next book. Asking for courage to greet every day with curiosity and wonder.

The quiet washed over me like ocean waves that come and go with a rhythm known only to the waves.

The Universe is amazing. In my state of asking to experience wisdom, courage, curiosity and wonder, it came to me what a gift it is to experience that kind of quiet—to enter into a state of asking and to recognize that whatever answers reveal themselves, do so because of grace.

Not my grace.

The grace of the Universe. A manifestation of favor, charity, mercifulness (as defined by Webster). And I would add… love. I think we do our best learning in a state of love.

perf5.000x8.000.inddWhich leads me to my tagline—the reason I write—and the basis for every story… the unstoppable nature of Love.

Love is unstoppable.

And so to all of you—no matter what your weather is like—no matter what state your life is in—I wish for you unstoppable love.

And I would add, warm, seductive, soft breezes.

Thanks for dropping by. My latest book, Naked Hope is doing well. I hope you’ll give it a read!

Rebecca E. Grant
Love is Unstoppable
www.rebeccaegrant.com

Introducing Dr. Jillian Cole

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Dr. Jillian Cole is a highly respected research psychologist in the field of traumatic brain injury. Her scientific breakthroughs and methods are singularly unmatched… but may be too much for Gavin Fairfield, whose ten year-old daughter suffered a tragic accident.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Jill’s fingers moved decisively through the test packets and other instruments she needed, more than a little aware Gavin Fairfield watched her every move. She pulled her laptop from its docking station, and turned to retrieve her briefcase from the floor, only to find that he’d gotten there first. The casual grace of his lean body as he straightened, and the strength of his outstretched arm from years of conducting orchestras, were all-too familiar. Yet, this more charming mature version of the man she knew to be an egotistical tyrant unnerved her.

Her hand closed over his as she accepted her briefcase. “Mr. Fairfield, I always like to set an agenda so the client is informed.”

“I’m a client now?” he grinned.

Her mouth tightened. “Unless you suffer from Traumatic Brain Injury, you’ll never be the client. As the parent of a potential client who is a minor, we will be establishing three things over the next four days. The first is whether Olivia can navigate the academic rigor of the program?”

“Of course, she can,” he interrupted.

Ignoring him, she continued, “The second is to establish her emotional state. Last, we need to determine whether she has enough emotional support and guidance from her family. Specifically, this will mean looking into you, Mr. Fairfield.”

The maestro gaped.

For the first time since she crossed the threshold of Ross’ office that morning, a smile tugged at the corner of her mouth.

Read an excerpt
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Visit my website

As always, thanks for dropping by!

Rebecca E. Grant
Love is Unstoppable

 

NAKED HOPE Limited Print Release

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ANNOUNCING…

Exclusive limited print release of my latest contemporary romance, NAKED HOPE through The Wild Rose Press, available now!

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Back Cover:

    Research psychologist Jillian Cole’s tendency to fall for emotionally unavailable men has taught her to question every man’s motives. Specializing in the field of traumatic brain injury, Jill is faced with a case involving the child of a former college professor who crushed her music career years ago.

Music celebrity Gavin Fairfield is wracked by survivor’s guilt following the accident that caused his daughter’s brain injury. He refuses to believe medical evidence and clings to hope that she’ll regain her amazing talent.

Their clash over treatment methods brings them together and there is no denying their magnetic attraction. When Gavin’s hope relating to his daughter’s recovery results in disappointing consequences, can Gavin and Jillian’s love for each other help them find their way?

Rating: Sensual
Page Count: 384

www.RebeccaEGrant.com
Love is Unstoppable

CRADLE OF LIES releases in 20 days!

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It’s a thrill to announce that CRADLE OF LIES, my contemporary cowboy romantic suspense releases April 1!

Stay tuned for information about giveaways, reviews, interviews and guest bloggers. Meanwhile, enjoy the fabulous cover.

Want a sneak preview? Here’s a link to the first chapter. Or visit my website.

Forced to spend the first sixteen years of his life witnessing some of the most epic murders ever committed, what kind of a life can Cord hope for?

cradleoflies.final.lacey (2)When Cord Archer first meets Mattie Rayne, her incandescent smile heats him like the summer sun, bleaching him clean. Nothing else matters except making her his. Before he can do that, his conscience compels him to explain why he entered an institution at age sixteen and spent five years learning to read, write and function in mainstream society.

Upon learning that Cord is the son of a notorious psychopathic serial-killer, Mattie realizes what a monumental effort it took for him to survive, much less make it all the way back from crazy. Knowing this only makes her love him more.

Just when it would seem Cord is finally about to know love, two phenomenally staggering events irrevocably change the course of his life. First, a sociopath becomes fixated on him. Next, his daddy escapes from prison with the sole intent of tracking him down.

Now, anyone in Cord’s life is at risk because the only thing deadlier than a psychopath is the random unpredictability of a sociopath. God help the man who has to contend with both.

Available April 1 through Red Sage Publications or your favorite online bookseller.

www.rebeccaegrant.com

 

NAKED HOPE cover revealed!

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Hello Everyone!

This is such a happy moment for me!

I’m so excited to reveal the cover for my latest contemporary romance, Naked Hope, releasing through The Wild Rose Press mid-summer, 2013!

I want to send a special shout out to Rae Monet, the cover artist. She’s amazing!

Naked Hope is the first romance I ever wrote… the first draft was written more than twenty years ago… and while I’m not one to be self-denigrating… let’s just say that it was perhaps one of the ugliest drafts ever produced 😉

But, at last the story is what it was meant to be and I’m so pleased to be sharing it with you.

Naked Hope makes its debut in early 2013.

Below is a brief excerpt. You can read more on my website. Stay tuned for more updates, and if you’re in the northern hemisphere, stay warm! If you’re in the southern hemisphere… we envy you your beautiful summer!

XOXO Rebecca E. Grant

Love is Unstoppable

www.rebeccaegrant.com

Naked Hope—Chapter One

The oppressive late summer heat clung to Jillian Cole like shrink wrap and followed her as she pushed through the heavy-framed door of the Wilson Institute. Air conditioning must be out again. She peeled off her light shrug and headed down the shiny tiled hallway.

Just outside Dean Chapman’s office, Nona, the dean’s administrative assistant, blocked her path holding a tall glass of ice water. “Take this in with you.”

Jill glanced at her watch. “He’s thirsty already? We haven’t even gotten started yet.”

Nona shook her head, a smirk flirting on her lips. “That’s for you.”

“For me?” Jill’s serious demeanor warmed. “Thanks, Nona. I noticed the air’s out again.” Gratefully, she lifted the glass to drink.

Nona’s grin broadened. She inclined her head toward the dean’s office. “Better save it for in there.”

Jill offered a confident snort.  “No worries. After seven years, this meeting is practically routine. I act indignant and offended, Ross acts like he’s in charge, but in the end, we always manage a reasonable compromise.”

Jill swung open Ross Chapman’s door.

Two men’s heads turned. One man stood and took several steps in her direction.

She faltered. Her ice water sloshed. Before any spilled, she steadied her glass and took a less-than-delicate swallow. Sweat broke out and beaded across the back of her neck just under her hairline. Gavin Fairfield! Here?

Fairfield’s energy saturated the room like some kind of exotic elixir. The years had been good to him despite the highly publicized tragedy. Tall and tanned with well-muscled arms, Gavin looked as rugged and as aristocratic as she remembered, with two exceptions. The hair at his temples displayed a hint of premature gray that he wore well. More noticeable, though, were his eyes, heavy-lidded and watchful, indicating a great deal of experience keeping the world at arm’s length. Tragedy certainly had a way of tearing at the spirit.

“Ah, Dr. Cole, there you are! Come in, come in.” Ross greeted, pointing to the leather sofa on which their guest sat. “Maestro, I’d like you to meet Dr. Jillian Cole. Jill is in charge of our curricula for kids with traumatic brain injury.” Ross’ smile widened. “We’re very proud of our Dr. Cole. She’s this year’s American Psychological Association’s award recipient for Traumatic Brain Injury Research in Children. Jill, meet the maestro Gavin Fairfield. He is an eminent pianist, composer and conductor here with the Minneapolis Orchestra, and a member of the faculty at the University of Minnesota.”

Would he remember her? Jill extended her hand. The sweat collecting on the back of her neck gave way and trickled down her spine. Her lips stuck as they split over her teeth in what she hoped was a gracious, professional smile.

He grasped her hand, held it a beat longer than necessary, and allowed his gaze to probe hers.

Commanding and cast against his face with the symmetry of a poem, his eyes were a fusion of blue and gray. But where was the heat—the fire she remembered so well? She revised her earlier assessment. Haunted, not distant. However he might try to hide it, Gavin Fairfield harbored a deep sadness.

Jill approached the sofa, eying the nonabsorbent leather surface. If she didn’t stop sweating, she’d leave a telltale puddle.

More at www.rebeccaegrant.com

Win a Free Copy!

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Are you as intrigued with the social media phenomenon as I am? Do you hang out in chat rooms?

If so, I’m curious to know which ones, and what you talk about.

The world has gone crazy with social media… it’s the only way our twenty-somethings know how to communicate. (Absolutely no judgment here, just want to better understand social media and how to use it effectively.)

I’ll share first. After visiting many blogs, gathering a close network of 2,762 friends on Facebook (blessings to each and every one of you!), tweeting on Twitter, and visiting Goodreads regularly, I stumbled across a social media site called The Experience Project, and read mixed reviews.

Have you been there?

What sites do you frequent, and why?

Be the first to leave a comment here on my blog (any entry) today (August 15) or  August 29, and you’ll receive a free e-book copy of my award-winning cowboy romance, LIBERTY STARR.

Be well, my friends.

XOXO

Rebecca E. Grant, Love is Unstoppable

www.rebeccaegrant.com

NAKED HOPE **coming soon** published by The Wild Rose Press