Tag: something old

Virtually Yours Releases Today! No Fooling

Virtually Yours CoverIf you’re looking for something to read this weekend, you can get eight novellas for under a buck. Check out Virtually Yours at your favorite retailers.

Since last spring, I have been working on this novella off and on, amid the three short stories I sold (and needed to edit), the Bible study I released in January, and the novel I hope you’ll see in print one day soon.

My story, “Matchmaker: Reality” is one of eight contemporary romances included in this boxed-set. You can pick up these eight stories (most about 20,000 words long) beginning today. For a buck.

No, that wasn’t a misprint. Eight romances for 99 cents. I know you want to do it before you read the rest of my post, so here’s the link.

How this came about

I’m friends with dozens of authors on Facebook. I follow dozens more on Twitter.

One of the romance writers I follow posted an article about an Invisible Boyfriend application that was going into beta testing. Her question with the article, “Doesn’t this lend itself to hundreds of story ideas?” (Or something like that. I don’t mean to misquote you, Kait.)

I was quick to chime in that indeed it did. Others did the same.

Later, Kait tagged the writers who had responded favorably to the question. Did we want to collaborate on a romance anthology based on a similar “fake date” application we invented?

There were ten of us who said “yes.” At some point along the road, two of the people dropped out.

First things first, we posted our story ideas to make sure none of them were duplicating a plot line. In the beginning, a couple of them looked like close relatives, but we changed it up. Now you’ll get eight stories with amazing twists and turns.

Then we got specific about the dating app we wanted to create. We agreed to call it Virtual Match. Titles for the collection were tossed around. And Virtually Yours was born.

Virtual Match is your one-stop shop to convincing those nosy relatives, the too friendly coworker, or your ex that you’re off the market. We’ll match you up with an attentive boyfriend or girlfriend. Texts, emails, phone calls, and even gifts. All the fun of being in a relationship–well, almost all the fun–and none of the commitment. You might even forget it’s not real.

The Stories

Here are the blurbs for the eight stories:

Wish I Might by Kait Nolan: Bookstore owner Reed wasn’t looking for a woman. But when the new clerk he hired won’t take no for an answer, he needs a girlfriend stat. His friends give him the perfect out—Virtual Match. But when Reed gets a second chance with the one that got away, his virtual girlfriend may cause more problems than she solves.

Lip Service by Wendy Sparrow: Amputee Berg is struggling with civilian life. Dating is perilous, but the girl next door is oh so tempting. His new gig as “virtual boyfriend” allows him to bask in her sunshine without risking rejection. Roxie has tried cupcakes and pizza and her neighbor doesn’t adore her yet. He recommends Virtual Match to get rid of a slimy coworker, but she absolutely can’t fall for her new fake boyfriend

Code Name: Girlfriend by Jessica Fox: Drew needs a girlfriend—fast. Trouble is he already told his nosy coworkers all about her, and she doesn’t exist. When his BFF sees an ad for Virtual Match, it seems like the answer to all his problems…until he starts falling for his match. Struggling writer Caroline thinks the tell-all feature on Virtual Match will make her career. Seems easy enough, until pretending to be someone’s girlfriend suddenly gets far too real.

Dream Home by Lisa Kroger: Evie doesn’t have time for the boyfriend her mom and sister think she needs. Still reeling from her husband’s death, she’s renovating the antebellum plantation meant to be their dream home. Enter Luc, her virtual boyfriend. Luc may keep her family at bay and provide company in the dark of night, but when sinister things start happening in Evie’s house, she’s still very much on her own.

Something Old and Something New by J.R. Pearse Nelson: Delia has finally managed to kick her cheating ex to the curb. In a parting jab at her lack of tech savvy and need for companionship, he signs her up for Virtual Match. The virtual boyfriend’s texts are as creepy as the idea and getting stranger, but she can’t stop them. When an old friend shows up on her doorstep, Delia is pushed to retire old heartaches in favor of a new vision of herself and her future.

Matchmaker Reality by Sharon Hughson: Ronnie isn’t willing to put her heart on the line. A fake boyfriend through Virtual Match will satisfy her nagging family and keep her heart safe. Unexpected sparks fly with her imaginary boyfriend and she gets in deep—her feelings unearthing a past secret she’d buried. When her virtual boyfriend wants to meet, reality might ruin Ronnie’s chances of a real connection. Will her heart survive and is love worth the gamble?

Virtual Surprise by Catherine Lynn: To convince her friends she’s moved on from her divorce, Anna signs up for Virtual Match. A fake boyfriend is safe and easy…until their relationship feels real. Then, there’s her high school crush—who broke her heart. Neither man is simple and one may not even exist. Luke’s job with Virtual Match is just for extra cash. He’s still dealing with his anger for the girl who once hurt him. Then, he starts falling for his assigned “girlfriend.” Is it worth the risk to make their match real? 

Home Field Advantage by Kate Davison: For Shelby, going home to Suwannee Grove after her sister’s death is the hardest thing she’s ever done. The reasons she left make it even harder. One look at Dallas and she knows her bigger mistake may have been staying away so long. Dallas has always considered Shelby the love of his life and he wants her her trip home to be permanent. But if Shelby ever finds out he was posing as her sister’s Virtual Match, he doubts even his home field advantage will help convince her to stay.

The Authors

I’m amazed and proud to be included in this anthology with two romance authors I regularly read. It’s like making an album with Karen Carpenter. What? You think I’m a good enough singer to share the same space with me.

Only in this case, it’s my first love – writing – that’s getting a boost. If you haven’t read the Wishful series by Kait Nolan, you should pick up the first book now. Wendy Sparrow also will have your sides hurting with her romance stories.

You prefer a little speculative or paranormal. You’ll probably find J. R. Pearse Nelson to your liking then.

If you’re like me, you’re always looking for your next favorite author. I LOVE and adore finding an author who entertains me. The only way to do that is to take a risk and try a new author.

I promise you, this will be a dollar well-spent. Two of these authors are on my “new favorite” list (and I’m thrilled to share a cover with them). I’ve read four of the seven stories I didn’t write. All of them are unique. Paranormal, sweet romance, and a little suspense are all represented.

No risk involved.

I know you’d spend a buck to support my writing. Now you can support eight independent authors for less than mailing two letters.

We all thank you.

Find VIRTUALLY YOURS at these retailers:  Amazon   | Smashwords

Since when did traditions become the standard?

With all this talk about weddings, the idea of having a “traditional” wedding (whatever that means) is bound to enter the conversation. This begs the question: Are traditions the same as expectations?

My sister remarried two weekends ago. It was a small, fun ceremony. I helped her find her wedding dress (I’m practically a professional *rolls eyes*).

This is the "offensive" white dress I wore to my sister's wedding.
This is the “offensive” white dress I wore to my sister’s wedding.

My future daughter asked what I was wearing. She was off-screen during a Skype call, so I didn’t see her face when I told her.

However, since she asked if I knew of any other traditions besides “I know you aren’t supposed to wear white to another person’s wedding,” I think I can imagine her stunned expression. This comment was probably a hint. She wanted to save me from committing a terrible faux pas.

Her remark did, in fact, make me reconsider my wardrobe choice. Here’s my quandary: all my other dresses are either black, summery or too flashy to be appropriate for a simple, family wedding.

What’s wrong with black? Good question. The dress I considered (white bodice, thick line of teal separating from a black skirt) was what I wore to my mother’s funeral.

What sort of statement does wearing a funeral dress to a wedding make?

Apparently, the same sort wearing white does. I guess. For some people. It certainly didn’t matter to my sister – who hadn’t planned to wear white until she found the perfect dress, which happened to be – gasp – white.

I began wondering about the idea of traditions dictating to us, robbing us of choice. I felt fine in my dress until someone commented on how wearing it demonstrated disrespect. (This in response to my remark that I would have had to give someone a hard time if they showed up at the wedding in pajamas.)


What if there were traditions I was blissfully unaware of? Am I held accountable? Is ignorance of wedding traditions an excuse in those cases?

I admit. I didn’t handle the confrontation with grace or aplomb. I blame the high emotions of the occasion (the fact it was all family and my mother’s absence was noticeable). But it made me reflect on this idea that traditions hold some sort of power over our ability to make choices independently of expectations.

Sure, there are traditions in every aspect of life. However, weddings have taken a central spot in my life (and on this blog) in recent weeks, so let’s focus in on those.

The article here gives the history behind ten traditions that we still mainly follow in our era. Tossing the bouquet, giving away the bride, the wedding ring, the best man and more.

Did you know the tradition of giving away the bride was an actual representation of property transfer? Yep, that girl was chattel and now her husband “owned” her. Sure, today it’s considered a symbol of the father’s blessing, but should it be mandatory? If the father doesn’t walk the bride to the altar, does it mean he is withholding his blessing?

And the bride standing on the groom’s left is a tradition, too. This one started so the groom could easily access his sword (hanging from his right hip because everyone was right-handed, you know) and protect her in the event of an attack. That’s a huge concern these days. Should the tradition be discarded since its purpose is extinct?

I didn’t wear a veil at my wedding. Thus, veil-wearing tradition screams I was neither young, modest nor a virgin. According to tradition, those are the three things the veil symbolizes. Oh, and it wards off evil.

The fact that I’m not crazy about veils means nothing, apparently. Not if we are going to let traditions rule us.

I love the “Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue” tradition. Did I know it also included “and a sixpence in your shoe”? No. And here I thought I was following tradition by including the first four items in my wedding attire.

Do you even know what those things symbolize? If you care to learn, click here.

The saleslady at the bridal store told us ivory is the most popular color for wedding gowns these days. How can people break tradition this way? White dresses are a statement of innocence and purity, right? To go further afield, many designers also offer pink and silver in many of their designs.

You mean my pink wedding dress is now en vogue? Go figure.

Are we letting wedding traditions rule our choices? Should these traditions hold sway over situations like weddings, funerals and family gatherings? Should we be able to “judge” an event based on its adherence to these archaic customs?