Dear Jon

Dear Jon: I am writing this on the 13th anniversary of your moving to your new address, in heaven. I wish I could see you and talk to you, but I’ll have to do it this way.
First, I’m sorry I bought a salad today–I know how much you always hated salad. At least I didn’t get cole slaw. I found out pretty soon after I met you that you hated it. I ordered barbecue on a bun with cole slaw when we had lunch with your grandmother and she had them take it away because of your aversion.
Second, I love you and miss you every day. I’ve been trying to think of funny stories about you since yesterday. There was the hayride we went to when they had the mock wedding (that’s when I got my first kiss from you, too) and when you brought me home, you carried me over the threshold at my mom’s house, and then called your dad to tell him that we got married. Anyone who reads this who knew Jon and his dad can picture his stern father, who kind of looked like Henry Kissinger saying “Jon–where are you? What did you do?”
There are so many little things I remember like the way you called the department store Elder Beerman Younger Beerman and how much fun me, you and my parents had a baseball games, and just hanging out here and at their house.
As my mom used to see in our prayers at Friday night dinner, “We miss you, Jon, and we’ll always love you.”

New release!

My alter ego, Vi LaNance’s, first R-rated romance novel, “Love in Disguise,” is now available from Crimson Frost Books for 99 cents.

Here’s the blurb:
Darlene Dover has physical and emotional scars from a burn accident wnen she was in high school, ten years ago. She hides these behind her Little Red Riding Hood Costume as mascot for the hometown baseball team, the Cincinnati Red Wolves.

Sy Bonaventure is known for stealing bases and hearts. When he gets to home plate, Darlene decides to take a chance and kiss the handsome Sy, then run off. The team goes on a road trip, but Sy’s mind is on the lovely mascot. Can he be the one to take her scars away, and release the passion she’s held inside for so long?

And here’s the website:

Watch for more news about this and other stories in the series!

Snippet Sunday 6/29

“Frank,” Danni said, coming out of her office to approach him at the table. Lord, he was hot in his navy and turquoise plaid shirt and dark jeans. The shirt was unbuttoned to reveal just a hint of his hairy chest.  “It’s 4:30. You can go home.”

“I’m just staying late like you asked, boss. Besides, I just want to copy this last document.”

Frank ambled over to the copier and made the copy. Then he walked back to the table and shrugged into a leather jacket. Danni licked her lips, trying to remind herself of the no dating policy.  “Okay, I’m ready to go. Are you coming?”

“I’m going to stay a little longer and see how the traffic is. Did you sign out?”

“Yes, boss.”

“Good. And don’t call me ‘boss.’”

“But that’s what you are. I like to call people by their correct title.”

“Well, it makes me feel like some old guy.”

“Oh, believe me, you’re not…never mind. Goodnight.”


3200th time’s a charm/Snippet Sunday 6/21

Okay, last time–I’m posting on Nan’s blog instead of mine and we’ll see if that works. This snippet is from “The Devil in Disguise,” an office romantic comedy. This scene is written from the hero’s POV. Hero and heroine–think John Travolta and Susan Lucci. Of course, I stayed up late reading Stacey Ballis’s “Out to Lunch,” and now think I can’t write. Any feedback is appreciated. –Vi LaNance


Frank Finney slipped back into his seat at the table he shared with Norie Lefton and Roxie Arlington. Norie had an unspoken question in her eyes—Did Danni yell at you again? His hatred for their manager was legendary. What they didn’t know was that Frank secretly thought Danni was beautiful. If it hadn’t been for the office’s no-dating policy, he might have asked her out since he’d recently broken up with his latest girlfriend.

            Danni had shoulder-length brown hair and smoldering brown eyes. She dressed in the latest fashion that hugged her curves in all the right places. Her voice was low and unbelievably sexy, even when she yelled at him. Sometimes he came in late just to get a reaction out of her. She was all girly-girl. She even had a pink desk and a pink calculator. Frank smiled to himself as he imagined her pink underwear. He had to remind himself to get to work, but that didn’t stop his fantasies from forming in his thoughts.

            “Frank, I need to see you in the nude.”

            “Yes, boss!”

Happy Anniversary snippet 6/15/14

I don’t believe this. The conspiracy and Arthur Idis are definitely out to get me. This is the third time I’ve tried to publish this post, only to have it disappear. And Arthur has moved in.

June 15th would have been my 34th wedding anniversary. I have many good memories of the day, and my life with my husband, Jon.

Happy anniverary, Jon, I miss you.

Here’s an excerpt from “Mr. Tall, Tan…& Tasteless.” The hero, Scotty, is loosely based on Jon…
This scene takes place at Jay Galloway’s wedding. His sister, Lorrie, is about to give a toast. Her original toast mentioned Jay’s ex wife, and got a “tasteless” rejection from an editor. Thanks to my writing friends, I re-wrote the toast…

“First of all,” Lorrie said. “I’d like to welcome Reese and her dad to the Galloway family. Jay, I’m sorry Mom and Dad aren’t here in person to see this day. I know they’re here in spirit. I love you so much, and I always want you to have the best…” Jay saw her eyes fill with tears, and with love for him.
“I said I wouldn’t cry, but it’s too late now. For those of you who don’t know us, I was going to tell you a long, involved story about my brother and all the sacrifices he made for me after our mom and dad died.”
Jay gave her the Galloway eye roll, hoping she wouldn’t.
“But that would be tasteless and boring. I’ll just make this short and sweet. Since I’m a beautician, I want to say, Jay and Reese, life is like a bad hair day. You cut those out, and only remember the good hair days. To the greatest brother a girl could have, and his wonderful wife.”
Jay got up and gave Lorrie a kiss on the cheek. When he spoke, his voice was husky. “Thanks, Sis.”

New release and thanks

I took a long hiatus after my dad passed away and a bunch of other problems multiplied. I am slowly trying to get things together, but I have to take it not just one day at a time, but one minute at a time. On that note, I would like to thank each one of you for all of your support during this very difficult time!

And on a happier subject, my alter ego, Vi LaNance, and I have a new release available on Amazon as of today. The fabulous cover will be available early next week. I have to upload it at the library because I have the world’s slowest computer.

Our book is called “More Than Just a Dog,” and is dedicated to anyone who has ever lost a pet. There is also a bonus sweet contemporary romance short story called “Lovers Never Lose.”

Here’s the link:

We hope you enjoy our labor of love and once again, thanks to all of you!
Nancy Goldberg Levine and Vi LaNance

Happy Mothers Day, Mom!

This blog is for my mom, Marian Goldberg. As I think about her, I always picture her with my dad, holding hands as they walked down the driveway. My dad passed away on March 30th and we miss him so much. I know I wrote a lot about my mom in the A-Z Challenge for Writers under the letter M. I love her so much.

As I thought about her, I was trying to think of some of her favorite expressions. Her most favorite one of all is “Fine!” (I used to say that a lot, and I’m thinking about bringing it back). My friend, Keith, and my husband, Jon, used to laugh when I said “Fine!” I don’t think my friend, Greg, has ever heard me say it. So…let me try this out. “It’s all part of the conspiracy, Nancy.” “Fine!”

Other things my mom says are “It will be okay. We’ll make it okay.”

Her prayer when we had Friday night dinners when she and my dad were still in their own home, or when they came to my house was: “We miss you, Jon, and we’ll always love you.” I’ve incorprated that into my prayers and also say that to my dad.

And mom, I will always love you! Happy Mothers Day! I wish I could think of more of your favorite expressions, but for some reason, I’m drawing a blank and my eyes keep filling up with tears.

A-Z Challenge…last day…Z is for…zodiac

Z is for Zodiac? Do you know your characters’ birthdays, and their sign of the zodiac?

My real-life husband, Jon, was a Scorpio, and I’m a Cancer. When I based characters on us for my never-published book, “Eagle’s Lady,” I decided that Ellie would be a Cancer, and Jimmy would definitely be a Scorpio, with the stinging temper to match.

When I wrote “Mr. Short, Dark…& Funny,” I decided that Jay Galloway would be a Cancer (because sometimes he’s a crab driver–LOL) (“What’s that?” Jay said. “I’m never crabby!” “Oh, contraire, Jay,” I said. “Sometimes you are. Remember that ‘difference of opinion’ you had with Nutsie Nan?'” “Y’know…”)and Reese Elliott would be a Scorpio.

My alter ego, Vi, is working on a story called “Sagittarian in Disguise.” Her heroine is a Sagittarius, and the hero is a Libra, and likes things balanced. Here’s a sample:

My name is Michaela Brown, and I’m a Sagittarius. We Sagittarians aren’t known for our tact, so I had a fight with my sister, Van. Our big brother Dylan is trying to play the peacemaker. Family means everything to him, and we’re all pretty close. Our parents are in the real estate business, and have lots of rental properties. So my siblings and I each have our own houses near each other, kind of like “Everybody Loves Raymond.” We don’t live on the same street, just the same neighborhood in good old Southern Ohio. By the way, I’m a TV junkie, and I make no apologies for pop culture references.
Dylan and I made a bet that I couldn’t keep my opinions to myself. When Kramer took a vow of silence on “Seinfeld,” he did pretty well. I knew I could do even better than Kramer. No more telling my sister how she should dress or run her business or what I thought of her new geeky boyfriend. I still can’t understand why she got so bent out of shape when I said something about Garrett’s handwriting. How was I supposed to know he was dyslexic? He’s good-looking, and he’s got a great job as an astronomer. He just can’t spell and his handwriting isn’t pretty. He mostly uses the computer anyway, so what difference does it make?
At least she has a boyfriend. I’m minus a significant other right now, and Dylan seems to be of the opinion that it’s because of my big mouth. It isn’t. It’s because the jerk I was dating had a lot of issues. Of course, Dylan doesn’t have a girlfriend right now either. I don’t understand that. It’s my personal belief that my brother is a hunk. If he wasn’t my brother, I’d go out with him.

I guess you get an idea about Michaela’s character.
I love my heroes and heroines from Aries to Pisces.
How about you? What are your favorite Zodiac combinations for your characters?
And this is the end of the challenge!

A-Z challenge for writers…Y is for… Y’know

Y is for “y’know.” It’s Jay Galloway and my friend, Greg’s, favorite expression. When I had one of my books professionally edited, the editor suggested that I change the spelling to “yano.” I kept it the way it was–the way it sounds, y’know? I even asked other writers how they would spell it and the consesus was “y’know.”

Here are some lines from my books where Jay Galloway says “y’know”:

Mr. Tall, Tan…& Tasteless”:
Oh, boy, Lorrie thought. She knew what came after the y’know. If Jay said something like “I know where that street is, y’know,” all was well. When Jay said “y’know” first, and in a loud tone of voice, look out.

In this chapter, Scotty is trying to sneak onto Lorrie’s screened-in porch so he can lip sync a song to her, but…

Yes! He heard footsteps and lip-synched the words as someone–he thought it was Lorrie, but he couldn’t see–walked onto the porch.
“Y’know, punk, if you’re trying to rob my sister this is a ridiculous way to do it!”
(that’s my favorite line of this book, y’know?)

An excerpt from “Mr. Short, Dark…& Funny” when Reese makes chocolate chip cookies, and her dad puts hot sauce into some of them…
“I’ll try one,” Jay said. “They’ve got chocolate chips in them. How bad can they be?”
“You don’t have to…” He’d already taken a big bite of the one of the sauced cookies.
“These aren’t too…” He started coughing, and his face turned as red as the Cincinnati Red Wolves baseball cap he wore. Reese handed him the bottle of soda, trying hard not to laugh.
“Oh, Jay. I’m sorry. I hope this won’t be our last date.”
“It won’t,” he said, after a few more coughs and sips of soda. “I’ve got to meet the guy who tried to burn my tongue with these cookies, y’know?”

Poor Jay! How does he get into these situations? Oh, yeah. I put him there…
What are some of your hero’s/heroine’s favorite expressions?

A-Z Challenge for writers…X is for…Quad X

X is for Quad X…I don’t know quite how to explain this one…it’s an inside joke between me and my friend, Greg. It started with Mr. X and then he decided that one, two and three X wasn’t enough–it had to be Quad X.

Nobody’s really sure what he looks like except maybe my alter ego, Vi. Once again, I think of my favorite comedy, “Seinfeld.” Hmmm…maybe S should have been for “Seinfeld”? Maybe if I do this next year, I’ll have an A-Z of TV shows since I’m kind of a TV person…A is for American Idol, B is for, etc. Quad X makes me think of the lawyer in the cape who helped George’s father and Elaine’s friend. Quad X goes around the city solving people’s problems. So I guess he’s kind of a super hero. Maybe he looks like Clark Kent and changes to Quad X?

I hope this post makes you laugh like it did when Greg started the inside joke.


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