Tag Archives: barbara meyers




Bestselling Author?2015-02-06 22.14.14 (4)

The last time I redid my web site, the designer’s first effort for the header went something like this:  “Barbara Meyers, bestselling author of contemporary romance and fantasy.”

I shot that back to her and made sure she understood that I wasn’t a bestselling author and therefore, implying that I was would be inaccurate.  In fact, it was a lie.

In a digital world where it seems you can’t believe anything and there’s so much misrepresentation especially on the internet, I had no intention of contributing to that atmosphere.  So the designer took off the word “bestselling.”

Don’t get me wrong.  I wish I was a bestselling author.  I’m certainly working toward that goal, even if I don’t know exactly what it means.  I could be number one hundred on some newspaper’s “bestseller list” and still be an author very few readers have heard of, but that still would qualify me for bestseller status, wouldn’t it?

On my vision board where I see it ALL THE TIME!
On my vision board where I see it ALL THE TIME!

There are countless numbers of bestselling authors the average reader has never heard of much less read.  But still, I think I wouldn’t mind being included.

I used to cut the bestseller lists out of the Sunday paper and cross out the names and titles and insert my name and titles. 20151026_100719

In the past couple of years I’ve had a revelation.  If it appears on my web site it eventually comes true. More than once  I have made mention of projects I’m working on, only to have them go from project to publication.  Often, I wistfully mentioned them only to fill space in my news section.  They were nowhere near completion and my writing career certainly wasn’t moving forward the way I wanted.  There are moments in almost every author’s life, no matter what their status, where they wonder if they’ll ever sell a manuscript again.

I had always heard all you need to do is find an editor who likes your work (and is willing to take a chance on you).  I had three different editors for three books, so that didn’t seem likely either.  But then it happened.  And it wasn’t even on my web site!

I had my web site redone (by the incomparable Cynthia Melendez-Flynn) and it is better than ever.  After a recent tweaking session I asked Cynthia if she could add the word “bestselling” in tiny, tiny letters in the header.  And could she put “bestselling author” in the tiniest print possible on every page?

I don’t want to lie.  I’m hoping no one will notice.  But if it’s on my web site, eventually it will come true.

I’m subliminally messaging myself.  And the rest of the world.  It’s not exactly a lie. It’s a prediction that just hasn’t quite happened yet. Until then it’ll be our little secret.





Sunday Morning Musings: Publishing and Other Things

Cover for FANTASY MAN which is scheduled for release February 2016 from Samhain Publishing.


I have a new addiction: Mary’s Gone Crackers. Original Crackers [mgc-000106.jpg] - Click for More Information

I blame Starbucks for putting them in their Bistro Box. The crackers are quite expensive. Fifty cents an ounce via Amazon is the least expensive price I found. Imagine my surprise when I discovered them in the organic/health food section of the local Publix. $4.69 for a 6-ounce box.  What other treat can I forgo so I can afford them?

Things the headlines this past week make me think:

“I don’t eat anything that has a face” is not the same as “I won’t kill anything that has a face.” (Cecil the lion and the Planned Parenthood controversy.)

If you like government bureaucracy, you can keep your government bureaucracy. Vote for a Democrat. (Ugh. Politics in general.)

Don’t go ballistic, okay? This column is called Sunday Morning Musings for a reason.

But mostly I think about how lucky I am and how many choices I have, especially when it comes to publishing. I just put up MISCONCEIVE on a bunch of other book-selling sites via Draft2Digital. Previously MISCONCEIVE was only available on Amazon. Draft2Digital does formatting and allows authors to not only set their own prices, but to pick and choose where their books will be sold. D2D takes a percentage of each sale, but it’s lower than the cut publishers take. And authors can remove their works from the system at any time.Barbs_Book_Front

If anyone had told me ten years ago that I’d have more than one publisher interested in my work and that I also had the option of self-publishing without making myself a pariah in the world of writers, I wouldn’t have believed it.

Right now I look at publishing as a bit of an experiment because there are so many options available. I never thought I’d need a business manager but that’s how I feel. Somebody to help me make decisions and keep track of what’s going on with each book. Because really? All I want to do is write.

#musings #publishing #writing #authors


Barbara Meyers Author Newsletter May 2015

Hello romance novel lovers! Are you looking for beach reads to enjoy over the summer?

image001_editedA MONTH FROM MIAMI, the first book in the Braddock Brotherhood series is on sale for $1.99 until May 15th to celebrate the release of the fourth book in the series, WHAT A RICH WOMAN WANTS set to release on May 12th.

What? You didn’t know there was a series? Why yes. It all began with Rick in A MONTH FROM MIAMI. Then his twin brother Ray appeared as the hero in A FOREVER KIND OF GUY (#2).


Trey, who also made an appearance in Ray’s story, got his chance at redemption in THE FIRST TIME AGAIN (#3).FirstTimeAgain,The72lg[1]FINAL

Niko, the hero of WHAT A RICH WOMAN WANTS, made his debut in A FOREVER KIND OF GUY.WhatARichWomanWants72web

All the books stand alone as their own stories, but they are connected through the heroes. You don’t have to read them in order. You won’t miss anything, although the heroes do show up in each other’s stories.

WHAT A RICH WOMAN WANTS received a 4-star review from Romantic Times Book Reviews.


“This is an unexpected gem… the two of them are well suited to face it all together, which was the enjoyable thing about this book… keeping the romance on a slow burn throughout… it’s highly satisfying…”

To read the review in its entirety:


In January 2015, my romantic comedy, NOBODY’S FOOL was released. It’s a high school reunion story inspired by my son whose fiancée was his BFF in high school. (Real life wedding planned for September 2015!)


Thank you to any of you who were following my Facebook author page posts and had your fingers crossed for me in the hopes my editor would like a manuscript I’d been fine-tuning for quite awhile. He did! Look for FANTASY MAN February 2016. If you want to like my page and follow my writing progress, (and maybe win free books) here’s the link:

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/BarbaraMeyersAuthorPage

Have you checked out my new and improved (and still under construction) web site designed by the fabulous Cynthia Melendez-Flynn? All the buy links to my books are there. (And if they’re not go on Amazon or any major bookselling site and you will find them by searching my name or the title.) All my reviews are there and some extras under “Et Cetera.” There’s also a button to click on to find my blog. (You’re on my blog now, so you can click the button at the bottom to follow from here!)

Web Site:  http://www.barbarameyers.com

On April 25th I attended a one-day Florida Writers Association Conference in Orlando. No matter how long I’ve been writing, I can still learn stuff. Plus it’s always fun to meet other writers. Advanced Writing taught by Samantha Shad is a fabulous seminar. I got all kinds of ideas for my wip (work in progress). My friend and fellow writer Lynn enjoyed the screenwriting workshop taught by Jennie Jarvis. We think some of my books could be adapted for Hallmark movies so stay tuned. Check out Florida Writers Association here:


What I’m working on now: Cleo’s Web, another romantic comedy, is almost done. My brutal critique-er says she didn’t have to be too brutal. As soon as I get the synopsis back from her, I’ll be putting the finishing touches on it and submitting it.

Since finishing the Cleo rough draft, I have become obsessed with an idea I call ANIMAL, which is a modern-day twist on Beauty and the Beast. Yes, I know it’s all been done before. Haven’t you heard? There are no new ideas, only new twists on old ones!!

My goal is by summer’s end I will have the second book in the Grinding Reality series done and available to readers. It’s called COOL BEANS and is written under my screwball-fantasy-writing pen name, AJ Tillock. I have a fantastic cover for it. I just need to finish it! So cross your fingers for me.

If you look at my web site you may notice the word “bestselling” in small print in various areas. That’s because I believe whatever is on my web site will actually happen. I have been posting my works in progress on there for years and everything I’ve mentioned is now published or soon will be. (I’ll let you in on a little secret. Sometimes I wasn’t sure they ever would be.)So I figure whatever’s on my web site will soon be a reality.

I am looking for readers to interview for my blog. If you’ve read a book you loved (and no, it doesn’t have to be one of mine!) and want to share, e-mail me at barb@barbmeyers.com, put “Reader Interview” in the subject line, and I will send you the interview Q’s. It’s easy!

Please feel free to share this with your romance-reading friends.

Until next time, happy reading and thanks for keeping your fingers crossed!


“I don’t care that they stole my idea… I care that they don’t have any of their own.”

                                                                       — Nikola Tesla

It’s Not Me It’s You

I used to have a friend named Annie (not her real name) who, after we had made plans, would inevitably change them. She’d change the time, the meeting place or the date, or she’d postpone. I was friends with her for over twenty years. It got to be a joke in our family to guess which item she’d call to change. If she showed up as scheduled, we’d all be shocked.

Annie always supposedly had a good reason for doing this. I eventually understood that this was who she was and I could either tolerate it or give up on her. I genuinely enjoyed her company so I accepted it. At least she called. She didn’t just not show up and leave me hanging.

These days? I am not so fortunate. This week I set a new record. I was stood up twice. Once by a friend/business associate and later by a former coworker/friend. This seems to happen to me a lot. I make plans…or I think I’m making plans with someone. Quite often I allow them to choose the time, place and date. I show up. They do not. They ignore my texts and phone calls. My policy now is I give them fifteen minutes and I’m out of there.

I began to wonder why this pattern keeps repeating. Do I attract unreliable and indifferent people? My daughter says no and recounts the number of her “friends” who are always so busy and just don’t know when they can get together. The phone calls and texts that go unanswered. The plans that get cancelled.

Maybe it’s a control issue. Or an overly exaggerated sense of self-importance. Let’s face it. We all have 24 hours in a day. We all work. We all have families and other obligations. But as my daughter says, “Sometimes I work a ten-hour day but if I really want to get together with my friends afterward, I’ll make the time and find the energy.”

These days almost all communication is by cell phone. Even at my advanced age, my cell phone is always in my general vicinity. Do I ever forget things? Yes. I forgot one of my dear friend’s birthdays a few weeks ago and I forgot to send a post in for a guest blog that should have appeared this week. I know I sometimes forget. I write appointments and commitments down (as in both of those cases). I enter them on my computer’s calendar. And yes, sometimes things still fall through the cracks. But I try to learn from my mistakes and forgetfulness. Maybe I need to write two notes to myself instead of one.

But these other individuals? I can’t explain their behavior. I don’t understand it. Especially when it’s their idea to get together with me. I didn’t instigate it so why am I the one sitting there wondering why they didn’t show up? Wondering why they can’t respond to a text or a phone call.

Maybe they like thinking that they’re oh so busy or their lives are so chaotic that meeting with me got pushed to the side, crowded out by so many more important things and people. Once people show you who they are, don’t make them show you again. I need to remember that the next time one of them says, “Hey, let’s get together.” Because my answer will be, “Unless you want to show up at my house at a certain date and time, forget it. I’m not meeting with you anywhere else.” And if they question me, I’ll simply say what I know to be true. “It isn’t me. It’s you.”

2015-02-06 22.14.14 (4)As you may have noticed, sometimes my blog isn’t about Reading, Writing or Romancing. It’s about the little things in life that bug me!  I am lucky in that I do have a couple of close friends who never bail on me. If they say they’ll be somewhere, they always show up. I hope you are as lucky. Thanks for reading.

Are You A Tease?

2015-02-06 22.14.14 (4)Evidently I am. The first chapter of WHAT A RICH WOMAN WANTS was supposed to appear on the lovely Limecello’s (@limecello) blog tartsweet.com in the Tuesday Teaser slot. Imagine my surprise not to find it there when I was all set to promote it. That’s because I forgot to send it. I shed a few tears over the missed opportunity (especially after Limecello had so gracefully offered me the slot) and my notoriously bad marketing skills.  I think I will just stick to writing romance novels. It seems the only thing in life I’m qualified to do and am good at. So go check out tartsweet.com and see what other goodies Limecello is offering readers. And if you’re still interested, Chapter One of WHAT A RICH WOMAN WANTS appears below.

WhatARichWomanWants72webChapter One

Niko Morales navigated the interlocking brick driveway, lavishly landscaped on both sides, and parked his six-year-old, slightly battered black Acura under the porte cochere of the Robinson beachside estate.

Releasing his seat belt, he stepped out into the evening air, still hot this time of year this close to the gulf, but it wouldn’t last much longer. In another month or so the humidity would lift and the daily rainstorms would cease. The breathtaking heat that created near swamp-like conditions would give way to balmy breezes and cool nights. The sticky summer, complete with vicious mosquitoes and various other annoyances full-time residents of Willow Bay had to live with, would give way to “season”. Full-blown tourist season, with its influx of snowbirds and vacationers, doubled the year-round population, overcrowding the roads, hotels, restaurants and beaches. The local economy thrived while the residents groused.

The majority of the highly affluent in Willow Bay, people like the Robinsons, had homes “up north”, probably bigger and more impressive than the ones like this used primarily for escape from snow and cold.

This particular neck of land, not large enough to be called a peninsula, more of a wide finger, extended nearly two miles out into the Gulf of Mexico, forming a bay behind its mileand-a-half width. It had been dubbed Royal Cove, and for good reason, since it comprised some of the priciest real estate in southwest Florida and boasted some of the most lavish homes as well.

Like this one, he mused, schooling himself to be unimpressed by the distinctive architecture, leaded-glass windows, peaked roofline and wide marble staircase leading up to ten-foot-high, paneled oak double doors.

He liked to think he’d inured himself to the ostentatious displays of wealth he came into contact with nearly every day as a sheriff’s deputy in Willow Bay. For those who had it, money provided insulation from traffic tickets, DUIs and the like. He’d learned that some deputies were happy to take the cash and look the other way. He wasn’t one of them and swore he never would be. He wrote the tickets and let the system do the rest. If a judge decided to alter the charges, reduce the penalty or waive the fine, that had nothing to do with Niko. He did his job the best way he knew how and left it at that.

Still, a home like this was so far from his own humble beginnings on the outskirts of Jacksonville that he had to remind himself not to be intimidated. Wealthy people were still people with weaknesses and faults and problems like everyone else. Knowing this helped him behave as if he were on equal footing with potential sponsors, such as the woman he was about to meet.

Lesley Robinson ran her family’s charitable foundation. She also, from what he knew, ran her family. Although this impressive estate belonged to her parents, she was the one in charge of a vast fortune. Her father had suffered a stroke that had debilitated him several years ago. Richard Robinson was cared for 24/7 by a legion of private-duty nurses. His wife Mitzi remained the social butterfly she’d always been, perhaps more so now, unencumbered by her husband’s presence.

None of that mattered, however, because Lesley was the one he needed on his side. She held the purse strings, and her support of the community center he dreamed of, one that would keep underprivileged young men off the streets and out of prison, would be the big push he needed. Lesley Robinson held sway in this tight-knit enclave of retired Fortune 500 CEOs, professional athletes and self-made millionaires.

From the passenger seat he picked up the folder he’d prepared, filled with information about the Challenge Project. A mission statement, a cost estimate and a site development plan. As requested he’d also included projections for annual operational costs once the center was complete and compared that to the cost of keeping the same number of individuals in prison for a year. His goal was to develop these rather lost young men into law-abiding citizens, to give them the skills needed to hold down a job and raise a family. To be contributing members of society instead of a drain on its resources.

He was well aware of the fact that it was a noble, idealistic goal and that others had attempted the same thing in a variety of ways, but he remained undeterred. He’d pulled himself out of a childhood steeped in poverty. He’d been sucked into a gang in his early teens, and he’d seen the damage such involvement did. He’d given up too much, including his own son, because at the time he hadn’t had a choice. That’s what he hoped to give other young men. Choices. One way or another, he’d get Lesley Robinson on his side. With her help he was confident there was no end to what his vision could accomplish.

He approached the front door, hearing a deep, melodic chime echo from inside once he’d pushed the bell.

In less than a minute one of the doors swung inward to reveal a compact Hispanic woman wearing a uniform of sorts, consisting of a white polo shirt, white cotton slacks and white sneakers. Her dark hair was secured in a neat bun at the nape of her neck. She regarded him neutrally, neither welcoming nor repelling.

He greeted her in Spanish, introduced himself and asked for Lesley Robinson. She returned the greeting, gestured him inside and closed the door behind him. She showed him to a small reception area consisting of two brocade chairs flanking an ornate table, over which hung a gilded mirror.

Niko took in the larger foyer, the sweeping staircase to the second floor with landings leading off in two directions. More marble and polished wood, the odd, echoey feeling of an excessively large home with few occupants.

He caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror, reassured that the business casual clothing he’d chosen was appropriate for the surroundings. He’d shunned the one suit he owned for a long-sleeved white dress shirt and a navy-blue sports coat paired with gray slacks. He was not and would never be a suit-and-tie kind of guy, and one thing he’d learned in his thirtythree years was never to try to be something he was not.

He’d been blessed in many ways and tried not to take any of those blessings for granted, including his appearance. Due to his mixed race, or so he’d always thought, he was taller than many of his Latino peers. From the father he’d never met came not only his height, but his long limbs. He kept himself in shape with regular workouts. From his mother he’d inherited his olive complexion, dark hair—which he kept short and messily spiked—and brown eyes.

He had a small scar below his chin from his time with the gang. Dressed as he was now, that was the only one visible. There were others, though, along with a number of tattoos which were on display occasionally in settings other than this. They were part of who he was, part of his history. He didn’t go out of his way to hide them, but he didn’t flaunt them either.

In moments the housekeeper returned. “This way,” she said simply, and Niko followed her down a hallway to the right. She tapped once, opened the door and gestured him inside.

From behind a massive desk a woman rose and came toward him, her hand outstretched in greeting. “Deputy Morales. Lesley Robinson. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

He took her hand, noting her long, slender fingers unadorned by jewelry, the nails her very own, neatly manicured and covered with clear polish. She was too slender, he thought, in her black pencil skirt that almost skimmed her knees and a long-sleeved, silkylooking blouse in a shade of teal that brought out the unusual bluish-green of eyes framed by unflattering glasses. Her hair was a mix of blond and sandy brown, swept up in a clip at the back, leaving a side sweep of bangs across her forehead.

“Come in, please. Have a seat.” She gestured to the two chairs in front of her desk. Niko chose one and made himself comfortable. “Would you like something to drink?”

“I’m fine. Thank you.”

“That will be all, Lita.” After Lita closed the door, Lesley indicated the folder. “You’ve brought some information for me?”

All business, he thought. No artifice. He liked that. Liked her, though he’d met her a mere thirty seconds ago. He handed her the folder.

She’d barely given him a chance to speak since he’d walked in the room. He didn’t know why but that amused him. Maybe because he didn’t particularly care for small talk, didn’t see the point of it. He much preferred to cut to the chase. But it surprised him when others did the same, especially women.

She opened the folder and studied the contents, which gave him more time to study her and her surroundings. The desk was made of beautifully burled dark wood. Mahogany maybe, though he had no idea. It was fairly neat, although there were some file folders and papers in a tidy stack. The other usual accoutrements. A multiline phone. A lamp. A computer.

Behind her was a credenza beneath a window that looked out over the front of the property, including the driveway. She might have seen him drive up. Maybe she’d studied him before he approached the house. It didn’t matter. He had nothing to hide.

There were built-in shelves on two of the walls, some holding books, others displaying framed photographs or art. He noted a wet bar as well, with a small array of glassware along with decanters partially filled with amber liquid.

“Tell me about yourself.”

He swung his gaze back to Lesley. She maintained a rather rigid posture as if she wasn’t quite comfortable in her own skin, even as she pretended to relax back into her chair. He wondered how long she’d been studying him while he’d been taking in his surroundings.

“I believe it’s all there.” He nodded toward the folder. “There’s a copy of my resume as well.”

“Yes. Why don’t you tell me what’s not in the bio. Or the resume.” Her gaze was direct.

“What is it you’d like to know?”

“Why this project of yours is so important to you. What motivates you. Why you care.”

Wow. Cut to the chase. He’d raised some funds already from a few other sources. He didn’t remember ever being asked why he cared or why this was important to him. Everyone assumed, as they were meant to, that he simply wanted to help his fellow man just as they did by donating money. No one asked about his history, how close he’d come to being one of those hard-core gang members if he’d stayed on the path he’d started down as a teenager. Chances were good that if he hadn’t gotten out when he did, he’d be dead or in prison by now.

“I was in a gang when I was younger. I didn’t think I had a choice at the time. I want to give young men who are in the same situation a choice.”

“Elaborate on how you to plan to do that.”

“Most of it’s there.” He indicated his carefully prepared folder filled with information, wondering now why he’d bothered. “Catch them young. No later than middle school. Keep them out of trouble and, keep them in school. Offer after-school programs, help with homework, athletics, a place to go where they’ll be supervised. Counselors available. Teach them manners, basic job skills, conflict resolution. Include life skills training, personal finances, parenting. Help them learn how to be successful.”

She regarded him steadily for a few moments. He stared back, oddly at ease. She’d either use her family’s charitable foundation and her influence to help him or she wouldn’t. He could only do what he could do. He’d learned long ago he could control his own choices, no one else’s.

“How did you escape the gang?”

“I testified in a trial against one of the other members. After that they rolled up the welcome mat.”


“Because one member testifying against another is generally considered bad form.”

A corner of her mouth lifted briefly. He noted her full lips and wondered what she’d look like if she relaxed completely. Smiled. Took off her glasses. Undid a button or two on her blouse.

She made no comment about his joke. “Why did you testify against another member?”

He shifted in his seat. Cleared his throat. Very few people knew the details of his testimony against Carlos or that he’d had to give up his son Fletcher in order to keep him safe. He preferred to keep it that way. By the time Carlos was sentenced to prison, Niko knew the best thing for Fletcher was for Hayley and Ray to adopt him.

“Why is that important?”

Again a corner of her mouth lifted. “Deputy Morales—” “Niko.”

She raised an eyebrow. “Deputy Morales, my family’s foundation supports a variety of programs, as I’m sure you know. I decide which programs are worth presenting to the board of trustees. I don’t work with people I don’t trust. I won’t see the foundation’s funds misused. Building trust means gathering information about those who apply. So you can either answer my questions about your background, or I’ll have Lita show you out.”

“Haven’t you already done a background check on me?”

“Of course. Do you want to answer my questions or not?”

“I testified against Carlos because he hurt a lot of people. He was going to hurt a lot more if he wasn’t stopped. I was in a position to stop him.”

“You were a gang member. Didn’t you hurt people?”

“I was a minor player in a loosely organized gang of street kids. Carlos Mariano used intimidation tactics to keep the kids under his control. I’d grown up with Carlos. I wanted to believe he listened to me, that I had some influence over him. Mostly I tried to keep Carlos in check.”

“But you couldn’t?”


“I thought gang members took an oath of loyalty to one another.”

How, Niko thought, could he ever explain his past to a woman like this? Money insulated people like her from the harsh realities of the world. Private schools and limousines and yacht races were so far from the pothole-filled, drug-running, violent streets he’d been born into. How could he explain the loss he’d felt when the mother of his child overdosed on heroin? Or that fear of his own child growing up in that environment had driven him to testify against Carlos, to make sure his son had a better start in life?

“There are times, Ms. Robinson, when loyalty to an entity or to another person is tested, when you have to decide whether the price for your loyalty is more than you want to pay. That’s what I had to decide.”

He was sure he’d struck a chord. Her expression changed subtly, as if he’d surprised her or reminded her of something significant.

She glanced at the open file in front of her. “You were never arrested, is that correct?”

She glanced up when he said, “Yes.”

“I thought an arrest record was a badge of honor to a gang member.”

“I had no interest in being locked up for any reason. I was no angel, but you’re not going to hold it against me because I was smart enough not to get caught, are you, Ms. Robinson?”

“Of course not. Thank you, Deputy.” She cleared her throat, gave him what almost passed for a smile. “Niko,” she acknowledged. She stood and extended her hand, so he did the same. “I’ll see you out.”

He followed her down the hallway, liking the sway of her hips beneath the skirt, even though she needed more meat on her bones. He couldn’t help but notice how rigidly she held herself. She pretended to relax but never actually did. He wondered why she seemed so ill at ease in her own home.

She held the door open for him. “I’ll be in touch about setting up a presentation to the board.”

“Thank you.”

The door closed decisively behind him. He breathed in the fresh air and let it out on a sigh. He reminded himself once again that he had no control over what happened next. He opened the back door of the Acura and laid his sports coat across the seat. At the same time he became aware of the sound of a ball bouncing off the rear bumper of his car. He looked around for the source of it but could see nothing through the landscaping. A soccer ball rolled away from the back of the vehicle. He took a couple of quick steps to stop its progress. A small boy appeared several feet away when Niko scooped up the ball.


The child regarded him silently. Niko figured he was five or six years old. Dark hair, dark eyes, slender build. Both wary and shy, ready to bolt at any moment. Niko hunkered down to make himself less threatening. “This must be yours.” The kid stared and nodded, but just barely. “Are you practicing your goal shots?” He shook his head.

“Would you like to?”

“I don’t have a net.”

“Oh. My name’s Niko. What’s yours?”

The kid glanced over his shoulder as if expecting a reprimand from that vicinity. “Ricky,” he told Niko, keeping his voice down. “I didn’t mean to hit your car.”

“It’s okay. Is your name Ricky Robinson?”

Surely that couldn’t be right. But Ricky nodded. Was he Lesley Robinson’s son?

Lesley wrapped her arms tightly across her chest and made her way back to her office. Once there she closed the door and sank into the chair behind her desk. By force of will she relaxed her arms and shoulders, and rotated her head from one side to the other to ease the tension in her neck. She did her deep-breathing exercises, telling herself to relax, although she’d gone through some semblance of this routine less than half an hour ago in preparation for her meeting with Niko Morales.

She didn’t like anyone to rattle her or for anyone to see that they’d done so. She had to be in control because if she wasn’t…if she wasn’t, well, what then? Nothing good. She couldn’t lose her head, her cool, her calm, her reason. She couldn’t listen to her heart and make decisions on what it wanted. She’d done that once before, and the consequences had been disastrous.

Instead she kept everything on a tight leash. She’d been doing it for so long, holding herself, her family, her home, the foundation together, she’d forgotten how not to do it. She never let go, never relaxed. She had to be vigilant because she knew from past experience if she wasn’t, bad things would happen.

After a few minutes she swiveled her chair to gaze out the window. The gurgling fountain just a few feet beyond the panes of glass and the view of the carefully tended landscaping never failed to soothe her. After closing the door behind Niko Morales, she needed to be soothed.

Yes, she’d done her homework on him, but a cold, clinical background check hadn’t prepared her for his presence up close. She’d trained herself not to react to men, or at least not to give any sign of her reaction. Though to be honest, she met very few who caused her to react in any significant way anymore. Most of the men she met were her father’s age or older, his peers from the country club and the business community. They sat on the foundation’s board. Some were family attorneys or accountants or old cronies of her father’s or the husbands of her mother’s circle of friends.

Lesley couldn’t recall the last time she’d met a man in her own age range who sent a zing through her with just the touch of his hand. Maybe not since Steven, though she shied away from that thought. She’d been divorced from him for over five years.

Had it been that long since she’d had anything but a passing interest in a man?

In fairness, she acknowledged that she’d been devastated by her husband’s infidelity, an act he’d perpetrated right under her nose. She’d been forced to make quick decisions, to exert damage control to contain the chaos he’d created, and to protect the life of an infant.

But she’d never stopped blaming herself for all of it. For believing his lies, believing he cared for her. Most of all she couldn’t forgive herself for making the foolish decision to marry him.

And then Maria’s pregnancy had happened, as had the complications. She remembered Maria’s fear for her son’s survival. Even now Lesley didn’t know how she could have turned her back on Maria’s pleas. Not in the light of Maria’s impending deportation. The universe had been so unfair to the woman, Lesley had to do what she could to help.

Then the universe revealed its twisted sense of humor, and she learned who the baby’s father was. Steven had made sure Maria was deported before she could tarnish his sterling reputation, and refused any responsibility for the child he’d created with her. That had been the last straw. Lesley had divorced Steven but kept the child. She’d made a promise to the young woman Steven had seduced and abandoned. To watch over and protect the son she had to leave behind. And unlike Steven, promises meant something to her.

A figure crossed her line of vision as she gazed absently out the window. Niko Morales had discarded his jacket and rolled up his shirtsleeves. He was walking backward across the driveway when he suddenly dodged to his left and stopped, then kicked at something the landscaping hid from view.

Lesley stood to get a better look and saw a soccer ball roll back toward Niko. It looked like the one she’d given Ricky for his birthday last month. It had been a ridiculous gift, she’d realized after he opened it. Ricky had no one to play soccer with outside of school because he had few friends. But it looked like perhaps he’d made one.

Niko spoke and gestured. Lesley shifted left and leaned closer to the window. Now she could see Ricky listening and nodding at whatever Niko was telling him. Niko kicked the ball and Ricky managed to bring it to a stop underneath one of his sneakered feet. Niko made a clapping motion and said something that Lesley couldn’t hear. She tried to remember the last time she’d seen Ricky smile.

WHAT A RICH WOMAN WANTS (May 12, 2015) is available for pre-order in eBook and print at Samhain Publishing and all major booksellers. For all buy links visit www.barbarameyers.com

Picky Reader Interview

ajtillock2013 012My blog is called Reading, Writing and Romancing so I thought I’d find out what readers are reading and why.  I use to do a little review blog called Picky Reader to keep track of the books I read…but then I found Goodreads. However, I’ve decided to resurrect Picky Reader. Below is the first interview in the “Picky Reader Interview” series with my friend Lynn who always seems to find books she can get excited about.

Have you read a book recently that you loved?  Title and author name please if you have it.

 The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder 


Why did you love this book?

It completely surprised me. The story was about the coming of age of a slightly cynical 17-year-old girl who has terminal cancer. It was funny and imaginative and heart breaking at the same time.

Where did you get this book?

I bought it at a dollar store.

Do you know what it was about the book that made you pick it up?  If so, what was it?

The title caught my attention. Along with the tag line: One Summer to Live a Lifetime.

Do  you have a favorite genre?  What genres do you regularly read?

I read only fiction.  I enjoy mysteries the most. I also like historical fiction. 

Do you have a favorite author? Who? Why?

No,  in fact, I’m embarrassed to admit I rarely remember the names of authors. I occasionally remember one.

 What will make you put down a book you’ve started and refuse to read any more of it?

If it is syrupy sweet.

 Do you read primarily print versions or digital versions?

I read regular print but I enjoy listening to books on CD when I am driving long distances. I don’t have a “device.”

As a general rule do you feel books are reasonably priced?

Yes,  I do. Plus, you can usually find books on sale. I am also a big fan of using the library. 

Would price stop you from buying a book you really wanted?

Yes. Eventually there is a limit. But I am comfortable with not owning a book and just borrowing it from a friend or checking it out from the library. 

Lynn  lives in Southwest Florida and has a background in public relations and marketing.2015-03-17 08.24.20

Barb’s Notes:  Amazing what a great tag line can do!  I think I’m going to have to start checking out the dollar store book offerings. I am also okay with not owning books and I love libraries. I’m not so great at remembering author names, either.  That’s why I track what I read (and like) on Goodreads. (See below.) Do I want to read The Probability of Miracles? Definitely.

If you’d like to be part of my Reading blog series comment below and leave an email contract address.

If you like contemporary romance, women’s fiction or screwball fantasy, check out my web site: www.barbara meyers.com


The Grand-dogs – Fleuree

Fleuree's Puppyhood
Fleuree’s Puppyhood

I was never one of those people who wanted grandchildren, much in the same way I was never one of those people who desperately wanted children.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad I have children, but if I hadn’t, I like to think I’d have been okay about it.

So when grandchildren became a possibility, I assured my children I was in no rush.  I’d just escaped from twenty–plus years of raising my delightful children.  I’d enjoyed almost all of it, but I was in no hurry to experience it all again one generation removed.

Luckily, my children seemed happy to comply and weren’t in any hurry to procreate.  But…they did add to their families.  Their “children” are furry and four-legged and completely delightful in small doses.

Fleuree, a Bichon/Havanese mix has been my daughter’s constant companion for over

Fleuree plays dress up
Fleuree plays dress up

ten years. Fleuree got her name, if I recall correctly, as a combination of the word “fleur” which I believe is French for flower, and “flurry” since she’s small and white.  Don’t ask me what we were thinking when we gave Fleuree to Dani for her 17th birthday, knowing she’d be leaving for college in six months  (Dani, not Fleuree.)  So for three years, Fleuree was our foster grandchild.  I got the opportunity to relive toilet training (yay!).  Fleuree had christened every rug in our house at that point. I put her back in basic training until she understood what “go out” meant.  By the time Dani was ready to take full custody of her baby, I was ready to let her go.  But sometimes I miss that little white dog.

Fleuree lost her sight when she was still fairly young but it didn’t seem to change anything for her, as long as we didn’t rearrange the furniture.   She is Dani’s alter ego.

Dani called me one day and said,”Mommy, mommy!  Guess what?  I got a kitten. It’s  little and gray and it’s so cute.”  Of course, my first repsonse was to ask why she wanted a cat and my second comment was, “Oh, sure, they’re all cute when they’re kittens.  But then they grow up to be cats!”  (Been there.  Done that.)  Turned out that gray kitten – Bella – bonded with Dani’s husband.  And kitten number two, Charlie, is Dani’s little darling.  And Fleuree?  Is mostly oblivious to both of them.

Fleuree, Bella & Charlie
Fleuree, Bella & Charlie

After a lifetime in Florida, Fleuree and family recently relocated to New Hampshire.  There’s been an adjustment to snow and cold, but luckily doggie sweaters make outings more bearable.

Got my sweater on!  Is it time to go out?
Got my sweater on! Is it time to go out?

The granddogs have given me a nice long time to consider what it might be like if a human grandchild came along at some point.  Note to the children:  I think I’d be okay with it.


Win a Free Book

NobodysFool72smNobody’s Fool

The following is excerpted from the romantic comedy NOBODY’S FOOL by Barbara Meyers, release date 1/6/15 from Samhain Publishing —

He wouldn’t fall for her again, wouldn’t tell her how he’d felt all those years ago or what she’d done to him when she’d left. He’d get the hell out of Dodge before he made a fool of himself by letting on that he still had a thing for her. That was the plan, anyway.

Jolie looked puzzled as he turned into the parking lot of Smokey’s Grill & Chill and parked. “You’re kidding, right?”

Court grinned. “Why not? We’re old enough now.”

“But—but,” she sputtered as Court got out and came around to open the door for her. Smokey’s was the closest thing Oak Ridge had to a biker bar. Situated on the outskirts of town, the ramshackle building was surrounded by a dilapidated wooden deck, which held an assortment of scarred tables and chairs. A few were occupied, the tabletops crowded with beer bottles, baskets of wings and fries and overflowing ashtrays.

The clientele ranged from the barely legal to clearly geriatric. The dress code consisted of scuffed jeans or overalls paired with T-shirts, along with baseball caps and work boots.

“I think I’m overdressed,” Jolie said.

“It’ll be fine.” He reached for her hand. “The food’s good, believe it or not. I’ll even let you beat me in a game of pool.”

“In that case, how can I refuse?” She took his hand, and a wave of longing went through her, along with a touch of melancholy. Court had made it clear that all he wanted from her was friendship, hadn’t he? She recalled the flare of interest she’d glimpsed in his eyes when she’d first opened the door. Was friendship really all he wanted?

A low whistle rose from the group on the deck as Jolie and Court ascended the steps. “Hey, baby.” From the corner of her eye, Jolie saw Court gesture in their direction, a sort of chopping motion. Quiet descended.

They went inside. Their arrival was acknowledged by turned heads and a brief drop in the hum of conversation. “I wish you’d told me where we were going,” Jolie murmured. “I wouldn’t have worn this.”

“Are you kidding? You look fantastic. Besides, this place could do with a little class. What do you want to drink?”

Ordering a glass of white wine might be a mistake. Beer, which she rarely drank, seemed like her best bet. “Light beer,” she replied. “Imported, if they have it.”

She stayed close to Court while the bartender got their orders. She wasn’t immune to the admiring glances—or in some cases, outright leers—directed her way. She felt like a fish out of water and wondered if Court had planned it that way.

He turned with two bottles of beer in one hand, held by the necks between his fingers. He nodded in the direction of the pool tables. “There’s one open. Want to play?”

Jolie lifted her chin. She had the feeling Court was playing some sort of game, but it had nothing to do with pool. Although she’d given up playing such games herself, she still remembered how. “Sure, why not?”

They made their way to the table. She set her purse down and Court handed her one of the bottles as he racked the balls. He came around and handed her a pool stick.

“What?” he asked.

“Did you bring me here to make me feel uncomfortable?”

“No, of course not.” His face fell as he looked around. “Is it that bad? I thought it would be fun. Didn’t you always want to come in here when you were a kid? I did. A bunch of us tried to get in with fake IDs.” He smiled at the memory. “Smokey kicked us out on our asses.” The smile faded. “I’m sorry. This was probably a bad idea. We can go to the Cedar View.” He moved to take the cue stick away from her.

“I’m being a snob, aren’t I?” She didn’t know if she’d meant to say that aloud or not.

“No, no, that’s not what I said.”

“You don’t have to.” Jolie looked into Court’s eyes. “That’s how I behaved in high school, like I was too good for just about everybody. I tell myself I’ve changed, but then I still act this way. Until someone points it out to me.”


She wrested the pool stick back from him and walked around the table. She picked up the chalk then lined up the cue ball. “Let’s stay.” She broke, dropping one ball in a side pocket. “You said the food’s good. And you’re right, I was always curious about this place.”




  1. Read and post positive reviews of NOBODY’S FOOL. Send proof of purchase (snapshot of receipt) and review site/handle posted under to barb@barbmeyers.com with “CONTEST ENTRY” in the subject line = three entries per site.
  2. This could be a review on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, etc.
  3. Post a comment on any of my blog posts (on my blog or anywhere I guest blog) during the month of January – one entry per
  4. NOTE: You must visit the BLOG SITE and post your comment on the BLOG SITE. You can post more than one comment on the same blog, but it’s still one entry.
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  7. Any Facebook Author Page followers who SHARE my posts – one entry. The contest runs from January 1-31, 2015. You must be over 18 years of age to win.Five Winners will be notified by February 15, 2015.Prize is winner’s choice of any Barbara Meyers book, either print or eBook version.Winner will be announced on my Facebook Author Page, my web site and Twitter.Make sure you’ve left a way for me to contact you: Twitter handle, or email address when you post a comment.Feel free to share this post with others who might like what I write.
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Nobody’s Fool – Sneak Peek


Excerpt from NOBODY’S FOOL:

Two hours later, she and Court were facing each other across a Formica tabletop in a cozy booth at Mel’s Diner.

“So Adam Stadler’s gay,” she said, as she looked over Mel’s menu. Nothing on it had changed in ten years, except the prices.

“It would appear so.”

She glanced up in time to see a sexy smile tug at the corners of Court’s mouth. She abandoned all pretense of disinterest in her former schoolmates.

“He was holding hands with his—his—”


“I know it’s not a big deal in San Francisco, but it’s a pretty bold move for anyone inside the Oak Ridge city limits.”

“True. Small Midwestern towns tend to come with their own rigid value systems, and a certain amount of intolerance.”

“Did you know?”

“Before tonight?” Court nodded.


“I knew in high school.”

“You’re kidding.”

“Adam and I were friends. He was struggling with it. He needed someone to talk to.”

“You never said a word.”

Court frowned at her. Jolie sensed she’d just insulted him. Or Adam. Maybe both.

“I can’t believe Rob Walters showed up. He was practically bragging about being in prison for drug trafficking.”

“Surely that didn’t shock you. You know what he was like.”

“He was a hood, that’s what I remember. Dumped Doreen Phillips after she got pregnant. He was always trouble.”

“Doreen survived, though,” Court said as he closed his menu. “She moved to Chicago and met someone. I hear they own several hair salons.”

Jolie closed her menu and looked at Court. “How do you know so much about everyone?”

Court shrugged. “I keep in touch. Oak Ridge isn’t that big a place. Most everyone’s parents still live here. It’s not that hard to find out what’s going on if you’re interested.”

Jolie’s gaze slid away. She hadn’t been interested, hadn’t cared. All she’d ever wanted to do was get away from Oak Ridge, away from the knowing eyes and too-big ears.

Now she saw not only the things she’d never had, but what she’d left behind. The sense of connection with her past, a history with the one person who knew her well. Court.

She hadn’t had the confidence to stand up for what she wanted then. She’d been too busy hiding her insecurity and manufactured fears beneath a false front. She’d buried herself so thoroughly for so long she’d had to dig deep these past couple of years to track down the real Jolie Kramer.

She was reminded of the old television game show To Tell The Truth. As a child she’d loved trying to guess which contestant was telling the truth and which were fabricating an identity.

She gazed at Court as the waitress approached to take their order. The locket dangled on its chain warming her heart.

Will the real Jolie Kramer please stand up?—she asked herself now.

She will, Jolie replied. If I can find her.


The romantic comedy Nobody’s Fool is available from Samhain Publishing

More sneak peeks coming soon.



“I can’t believe you’re going to your high school reunion,” Val said to Jolie. “It’s so… Midwestern of you.”

“Want to come?”

“God, no.”

Jolie chuckled. Valentino Gonzalez, who rarely allowed himself to travel west of the East River, sprawled in a chair in the corner of her bedroom and leafed through her yearbook. With each page he turned he passed judgment on yet another of her former classmates. “Ugh, look at this hair. Someone should have told her plaid is not a good look on her. Oh, honey, get some contact lenses.”

“I’m sure your graduating class was filled with nothing but runway models and budding fashionistas.”

“My class at Glenwood Boys Academy wore matching blue blazers and red bow ties. We were all absolutely divine as I recall.”

“Uh-huh.” Jolie sorted through her underwear and nightclothes, putting those she wanted into the open suitcase on the bed.

“I found you!” Val exclaimed. “Weren’t you the busy bee?” He put his finger on the page and read aloud: “Varsity cheerleader; Drama Society; French club.” He glanced up. “You speak French?”

Oui, oui, monsieur.”

She turned to the closet as Val continued to read. “Homecoming court; Prom queen.”

He snorted. “Prom queen? How did I not know this about you?”

Jolie laid several items on the bed and began to slip them off their hangers to fold. “I don’t believe you ever asked.”

“There must be pictures.” Val began turning pages until he found them. “Oh. My. God! Look at you! You were a fairy princess amongst the trolls.” He studied the picture. “Your design?”

Jolie made a face. “Of course.”

“I love it.”

“You love everything I design.”

“Yes, but you were only what? Seventeen? Eighteen? Even then you had talent. Good thing you got out of that burg when you did, before the trolls ate you alive.”

Jolie silently agreed. She had escaped Oak Ridge, Illinois, but she hadn’t escaped the person she’d become while growing up there. This trip, she’d already decided, was about making peace with her past, her parents and anyone else she should have treated better or appreciated more.

“Who’s Courtney Harrison?”

Jolie stared at Val as a kaleidoscope of images spun through her brain from childhood to high school graduation.

“Jolie? You okay?”

Jolie snapped out of her memories. “He was the boy who lived next door.” She turned back to the closet and pretended to rummage through her clothes again even though she had everything she wanted.

“He wrote an entire page in your yearbook. The guy worshipped you.”

Jolie returned to the suitcase with two pairs of shoes and focused on wrapping them and tucking them into side pockets.

“Jo-lie,” Val singsonged.


“Tell me about the boy next door. Please?”

When Val smiled like that, Jolie found it hard to refuse him anything. He was the most divinely good-looking man she’d ever met. His bedroom brown eyes melted hearts everywhere. Men either envied him or lusted after him and women wept when they learned he was gay. “I’ll tell you,” she said. “But I’ll need a glass of wine first. Maybe two.”

Jolie gazed out the window of the 727 and tried to put her thoughts in order. Before

last night, she’d never discussed her relationship with Courtney Harrison with anyone. She hadn’t wanted to examine that self-centered, seventeen-year-old self too closely. Even Val, who knew her probably better than anyone, had been mildly shocked by her behavior.

“Quite the bitch, weren’t you?” He’d used a teasing tone, but he spoke the truth, neatly defining her behavior with Courtney in five words.

“I was horrible to him,” Jolie admitted out loud for the first time in her life. “Do you think he’s forgiven me?”

“Let’s see. He was in love with you. You broke his heart. You’ve avoided him for ten years and you’ve never apologized. I’m sure he’s fine.”

Jolie stared into her wine glass, not wanting Val to see how painful this conversation had become.

But Val was highly intuitive about such things. “Come on. It was high school,” he reminded her gently. “I’m sure he’s matured in the last ten years.” Val’s gaze softened on her and he tugged on a lock of her hair. “You did, didn’t you? You’re no longer that self-centered teenager. You’re sweet and kind—”

Jolie giggled. “I am not.”

“—sexy, sophisticated, smart and talented,” Val continued, ignoring the interruption. “I couldn’t be best friends with a snotty bitch.”

But Courtney had. He’d looked past all her faults back then and saw something more underneath. Jolie squirmed in her seat, knowing that was what frightened her the most. The boy next door had known her better than anyone. And had loved her anyway.

NOBODY’S FOOL release date January 6, 2015

Discounted Pre-order on Amazon here: