Qualities of a Mom

DSCN2217A heartfelt Happy Mother’s Day to all my mom writers, friends and family who follow my blog!

I didn’t think I’d get a chance to blog today, but thanks to a weekend of rain, the softball fields are flooded and the weekend Mother’s Day tournament is canceled! Clearly, Mother Nature realizes this day is meant to be doing things other than hanging on the softball fields.

Today, I’d like to celebrate both being a mom and having a wonderful mom. My oldest is twelve years old and as I watch her becoming a young lady, I feel proud that she’s a sweet girl and pray (a lot) that she stays that way. And if there was any way I could home school her and keep her in a protective bubble where she could never get hurt, I would…well, maybe. Yeah, yeah, not realistic, right? But the thought has crossed my mind when I hear stories about kids her age. Since I can’t keep either of my kids under my protection forever, I’ll arm them with the best tools I can: love, knowledge, awareness, values, and hope they make mostly wise decisions and when they don’t, hope they come to me for advice.

Here are a few qualities I found I need as a mom:

Must always be available to clean up scrapes, wipe a runny nose, and fix all boo-boos

Often survives with only a few hours sleep

Teacher of values

Has an abundance of love and the ability to forgive

Emotional counselor extraordinaire!

Remembers what it’s like to be a kid/pre-teen/teen and make mistakes

Family is an important theme in the stories I write. The heroes of my first two stories didn’t come from a loving family. They had money but not love and nurturing. The heroines I matched them had completely opposite family experiences, and help the men learn to open their hearts to love.

I’d like to share a special moment from Love’s Second Chance between my heroine, Kate, and the orphan she befriends (and later will try and adopt). To me, it captures a special moment as a mom.

Kate stood at the small island in her parents’ kitchen guiding Lucas’s small hands as she instructed him on how to roll dough for butter cookies. It was a hard skill to acquire for a small child, and one part of the dough would be thick and the other super thin. But he was having fun and that was all that mattered to her.

“Can I put the sprinkles on?” Lucas asked.

“Of course. We have to let the cookies cool, then I’ll add the icing and you can add the sprinkles. How’s that sound?” Kate said.

“Good. Can I eat another piece of dough?”

How could she refuse him when he gazed at her with those sparkling eyes and animated expression? She laughed and brushed her hand at a sprinkling of flour on his cheek, only making it worse.

“Another small piece. You don’t want to eat too much or you’ll get a tummy ache. Besides, you want to leave room to sample the cookies when we’re all done, right?”

He licked his lips and gave her a dreamy expression when he popped another piece of dough in his mouth. “Mmm.”

They worked as a team for the next two hours, rolling, cutting, icing, and sprinkling cookies until all the counters and kitchen table were covered with cookies. When the last cookie was done, Kate poured them both a glass of milk and let him choose one to eat. He studied them carefully before picking up a large star. He took his time biting and chewing, as though he were savoring every bite.

“How are they?” she asked.

“Great,” he said with his mouth full. He finished chewing and swallowed. “They remind me of the cookies my mom used to make.”

Kate’s heart lurched. She hadn’t expected that. He’d never shared anything about his family with her and she wasn’t sure of the best way to handle it.

“Did you used to make cookies with your mother?”

“Yes. She used to let me help make the cut outs, too.” He lowered his head and hunched forward. “I miss her,” he whispered in a croaked voice.

Kate tried to hold off the tears that threatened to spill from her eyes. She put her arm around him. “I’m sure you do, baby, and I’m sure she misses you, too. You should always hold onto the memory of making cookies with your mother. I’m sure it was as special for her as it was for you.”

He nodded and sniffled. “Did you ever make cookies with your son, with Tony?”

“No, I never did get to make cookies with Tony.” She pushed his bangs back from his eyes. “But I think if I ever had, it would have been a lot like making cookies here with you.”

He seemed to think about that a moment and then nodded. “Do you know what I want from Santa for Christmas?”

“Hmmm…let me think…A Nintendo DS or maybe a Wii?” she teased, thinking of the bright orange DS she’d already bought for him.

He shook his head. “Those would be nice, but what I want Santa to bring me more than anything is a mom.”

What special moments do you have as a mom or of your mom?

Have a wonderful day!



Contest Win!!

I’m thrilled to announce my second manuscript, Love’s Second Chance, won FIRST PLACE for Single Title Contemporary in the Write Stuff contest. I was thrilled to attend the conference and get the news in person. Many thanks the Connecticut Chapter for running the contest and for my fabulous critique partners, Joanna Shupe, Jenna Blue, Michele Mannon, and Jaye Marie Rome for their encouragement and never-ending support.

I’m blogging about my win and the conference on The Violet Femmes blog this week at http://thevioletfemmes.wordpress.com. Check it out and comment and chance to win 2 books from authors at the conference.

I’ll leave you today with the opening paragraph from Love’s Second Chance.

Kate DiFrancesco knocked back a shot of Sambuca and tossed another into her cappuccino. She hated being the last to know—especially when it concerned her family. Lately, it seemed as though they didn’t tell her anything. She might have moved from Northeast Philadelphia to New York City, but she was still a member of this goddamn family. She closed her eyes and swallowed the fiery liquor, fighting to contain the anger flowing through her veins over the bomb her family had just dropped.

Snippet from “Love’s Second Chance”

Good morning! It’s a rainy and dreary Monday in NJ today, so I thought I’d attempt to brighten your day by posting a snippet of my second manuscript, Love’s Second Chance. This book finaled in the Write Stuff Contest, and while this snippet isn’t part of the entry, I think it shows some fun sexual tension between my hero and heroine. Hope you enjoy!

Also, I’m blogging this week with The Violet Femmes on Writing Contests. Stop by http://thevioletfemmes.wordpress.com and comment for a chance to win a $20 Barnes & Noble Gift Card.

Excerpt from “Love’s Second Chance”

Before Edward could follow her father into the main restaurant area, Kate put a hand on his forearm.

“Are you sure you’re okay with this?”

“With helping you?”

“Yes. I don’t want you to read more into it than it is. I haven’t changed my mind about getting involved with you.”

He studied her face before lingering on her lips. Kate felt her nipples contract. He took a step closer to her and leaned down. For a moment she thought he was going to kiss her, and dammit if she didn’t want him to.

“I believe you’ve made your position crystal clear, luv. I can’t force you to feel an attraction you obviously don’t.” His gaze moved down to her breasts, which, despite her sweater, surely displayed her aroused state. With a crooked grin and a wink, he stepped aside and left her alone in the entranceway.

Kate blew out the breath she’d been holding. Damn if this wasn’t going to be a challenge.