Hey Everyone, happy School’s Out For Summer! Huzzah!
First up: Congratulations, Giovanna! You won a grab-bag of surprise books (including books by Heidi Hormel, Heather Graham and more!) Send your snail-mail address to messageATsarahmandersonDOTcom! Yah, prizes!
Okay! Good news! In the last month, the kitchen has gotten to 93% finished! I knew you were worried.
Heavens knows I was. So! Pictures! (If you need a refresher in the before and during photos, click here for last month’s post!)
Here we’re looking at the fridge which has been surrounded by cabinetry for a more built-in look. The countertop next to it is the ‘baking station’ and has a butcher block top. I am LOVING the mixer cabinet stand–even though, yes, the mixer is on the counter. The mixer is prettier than the Vitamix blender, so the blender is underneath the cabinet. And of course there’s the lovely washer and dryer.
A few notes about the washer and dryer–they used to be in a more enclosed area, so we’re still getting used to the noise being in the kitchen. So we ordered another side panel, like the one on the countertop side of the fridge, to install on the other side to help deaden the noise. This is the first time either of us have ever had a stacking laundry unit and I didn’t realize the dryer’s controls would be up so danged high. I have to stand on that stepstool to see the controls and I’m not short. If you’re petite, keep that in mind.
Okay, moving on! Here you can see the new wall that encloses the new pantry. And also my giant tea mug. 🙂 If you recall, that was a corner cabinet section before. New walls! (Art is of our house by our neighbor, a talented watercolorist).
Look at that pantry. The inset part was originally on the other side of the wall (aka the basement stairwell). We bumped it back out to add space to the pantry. LOOK AT ALL THAT SPACE!!
Standing in the far corner here, looking back at the laundry area.
Standing in the hall to the dining room. That’s a nice backsplash, huh? We still need to get the outlets finished, which will happen when the electrician comes back to do the lights over the sink (there were…complications, to say the least). I do love that the contractor painted that ENTIRE wall blue and all you can see is the 10 inches at the top. Also, please tell me how much you love the hardware on the cabinets because we agonized over that for MONTHS before finally going with Martha Stewart.
Back to the sink. I love that sink–but it took MONTHS to be shipped all the way from Italy! We still need the lights under the cabinet and drapes. Drapes are my nemesis right now. We also need a stool because we had the countertop (Blue Pearl Granite) overhang so there’d be a place for me to sit when Husband is baking (this is a thing that happens).
Like I said, it’s about 93% done but the important thing is that all the appliances are in and we can use it as a kitchen which is WONDERFUL. I really love it. *happy sigh*
GIVEAWAY: A super-early copy of Little Secrets: Claiming His Pregnant Bride! Just leave a comment telling me what you’d change about your kitchen if you could.
Okay! In book news, I have GOOD news! NotMy1stRodeo.com is back! We’ve signed on with Entangled and they’re putting the books out with snazzy new covers. So! Here’s a cover and an excerpt!
Blurb: These cowboys all have a little experience under their belt buckles and they’re gonna to put their hearts on the line one more time.
In Donna Alward’s Nothing like a Cowboy, Brett isn’t interested in another run at love, but when he’s matched with Melly by an online dating site, he seriously considers getting back in the saddle.
In Something About a Cowboy by Sarah M. Anderson, Mack is furious when his grown sons sign him up for online dating, but he goes to meet Karen anyway, and is blown away by the instant chemistry. But it might be too much, too soon for this widowed cowboy.
In Jenna Bayley-Burke’s Anything for a Cowboy, Notmy1strodeo.com declares Ray and Jacy a perfect match. The first time they meet, sparks fly and an insatiable desire flares between them. Their fire burns hot and fast, but will her little white lie smother the flames forever?
Mack looked back up to where the woman in the red dress was sitting. She’d pivoted on her stool, no doubt to see what all the commotion was about.
Her gaze met his and she smiled.
Oh, hell. It was her. Karen.
There was no turning back. Aw, who was he kidding? There’d been no turning back the moment he’d agreed to meet her. He tried to return her grin, but it didn’t feel right, so he gave up the effort and settled for walking toward her. As he did, he kept looking at her.
She was, if possible, even better looking in the flesh than she’d been in her NotMy1stRodeo.com photos. There, she’d been grinning goofily at the camera, holding up a small dog—the yippy kind—and generally being unselfconscious about her appearance.
But now? As he closed the distance between them, she stood, and Mack got the full magnitude of that red dress. In addition to being backless, it had a deep V that cut close to firm, high breasts and a slit that went most of the way up her leg. The whole thing skimmed over her curves, leaving just enough to the imagination. She had a lush, full body—hourglass shaped and perfect in proportion.
For six long, dark years, he’d not allowed himself to think, much less look at another woman. Suddenly, one siren in a red dress had him thinking about what it’d be like to undo the tie on her neck and let those breasts, those hips free from that dress.
Desire hit him low in the gut. He was really doing this. This was really happening.
“Mack?” she said, her eyes lighting up.
He nodded. “Karen?” Then, because he wasn’t sure what he was supposed to do next in this situation, he stuck out his hand. It seemed the safest bet.
Except it wasn’t. She grabbed his hand and pulled him into her arms. She wore a scent that was light and sweet, almost like vanilla and roses. Unconsciously, he closed his eyes and inhaled deeply. As he did, her breasts pressed against his Sunday-best blue dress shirt and his only suit jacket, the heather-gray one that Sue had picked out for him to wear to her funeral.
It was damned hard to think of Sue and have Karen hold him like this, her arms tight around his chest, murmuring the words, “It’s so good to meet you in person.” So he tried to stop. Sue was gone and she’d wanted him to go on with his life. She’d made him promise he would, because that was the kind of woman she’d been.
So this was Mack trying to go on with his life. “It’s, uh, it’s good to meet you too.”
He didn’t know what he was supposed to do with his hands. If he hugged her back, he’d be touching her bare skin or—worse—if he wasn’t doing that, he’d have his hands on her ass. It really didn’t matter how nice her ass was—he glanced down. Whoa. It was a nice ass.
He began to get hard and then he immediately started to panic. This was too much, too soon. He was still married, for God’s sake. Sort of. In the eyes of the Lord. Probably.
Thankfully, she let go of him and stepped back, which helped a lot in the sense that she wasn’t pressing her body against his and wouldn’t be able to feel his erection. But it didn’t help that he now had an up-close-and-personal view of her in that dress. It left very little to the imagination. He was sure that if he looked at her just right, he’d be able to make out the details of her nipples through the thin red fabric.
He kept his gaze locked on her face.
“I’m glad you came out tonight,” she said, and the next thing he knew, she’d leaned up on her tiptoes and planted a kiss on his cheek. She still had a grip on his hand. He couldn’t go anywhere. “I was hoping you would.”
“We made a date,” he heard himself say. “I keep my word.”
Which was pretty much the only reason he was here, looking at temptation in the form of a divorced florist named Karen Thompson instead of sitting in his living room, a beer in one hand and the remote in the other, just like he’d done every other night for the last six years.
She lifted one of her eyebrows as she beamed at him. “I am very glad to hear it. Do you want to eat dinner or…” Her voice trailed off and Mack had to lean forward to try and catch the last part of the sentence. Or what?
I really love these stories and I’m so glad they’re getting a second chance after Samhain folded. So check them out!!
Have a great summer, everyone!