Friday, July 27, 2012

Jeannette Murray—Stealing Clothes

I'd like to welcome romance author Jeanette (Kat) Murray to Over Coffee. She's written the first book in her Semper Fi military romance series, The Officer Says I Do. It's a fun romantic read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I like the fact her story accurately depicts military life of family members. You can read my four star review HERE. 
But today she's covering a serious topic—women who steal men's clothes, lol! I, of course, never stole, I mean wore, any of my husband's clothes when he was deployed. Oops, was that lightning? Busted.

Thanks to the Sia McKye for having me! I’m so excited about my first paperback release, The Officer Says “I Do.” I might actually do a dance. Though really, nobody wants me to do that…it’s not pretty.

So instead I thought I would talk about a very serious topic. It’s something that my husband has been battling for months, nay years, and has yet to manage to come out victorious.

The Clothing Stealer.

Oh, that’s me, by the way. *waves* Hey! I steal clothes. But not just any clothes. My husband’s clothes. And only to wear around the house. See, he works nights sometimes, or he’s gone for drill over the weekend, or he’s gone for seven months on a deployment. And while I never suffer too greatly—hey, I’m a lady who likes the bed to myself—one thing I tend to catch myself doing a whole long more than I do when he’s home is wear his clothes.

It starts out innocently enough. A pair of his mesh basketball shorts to mow the lawn in. Mine are all in the wash, so it’s just practical. Then the house is freezing and I’m being cheap and don’t want to turn the heat on, so I use one of his oversized sweatshirts. Then it’s a t-shirt to sleep in, and another sweatshirt to cuddle with…

Before you know it, I’m using his side of the closet more than mine. But why? It’s not like these things make me look good. No. It’s the comfort factor. Despite the fact that I’m an independent woman and can handle myself for months at a time, I subconsciously seek out something familiar. The texture of his shirts, the smell of his sweatshirt, the warmth of layers (since he’s a furnace and I am always freezing).

It was this that prompted me to write about Skye stealing Tim’s sweatshirt and wearing it when he wasn’t looking.

  • Ladies, do you ever steal, um, borrow your guy’s clothing?


The Officer Says I Do

He’s a Marine…she grew up on a commune.
He always puts duty first…she’s a free spirit with an unshakable belief in Fate.
He loves routine and order…she brings chaos and creativity wherever she goes.
They’re going to balance each other perfectlyor drive each other completely, utterly insane…

On a wild pre-deployment celebration in Las Vegas, Captain Timothy O’Shay encounters free-spirited beauty Skye McDermott, and for once lets down his guard. Now his life is about to take off in directions he never could have imagined…Excerpt Chapter

Here’s another short excerpt from when Tim found The Sweatshirt Stealer…
Tim paused, dresser drawer half open. Wait, part of the fun was never knowing? When had he adopted that line of thinking? Consistency. Consistency was his favorite. He liked rules, schedules, stability. He lived his life by it. He breathed reliability.
He shook out a pair of basketball shorts and an old Academy t-shirt and slipped on the comfortable outfit. A night snuggling on the couch with Skye seemed like a great way to end a shitty day.
Maybe he’d even cop a feel, straight out of a middle school handbook.
But when he jogged back down the stairs, hitting second base was the last thing on his mind. 
Skye stood with her back to him, debating the DVDs in the entertainment center. As usual, she swayed from side to side as if she couldn’t stand still, as if some song in her head compelled her to move and dance.
She’d twisted her hair into a knot, though a few tendrils had already escaped and were flowing down around her neck. What he could see of her legs were encased in black leggings, though her feet were bare. But he’d recognize that top anywhere. 
That was his favorite sweatshirt from college. The soft gray material was always a comfort on chilly days. The N with a star on the front was starting to crack and peel off. A size too big on him, it swallowed Skye’s torso whole, falling almost to her knees. He’d lost it weeks ago. Or so he thought. 
She must have had it for a while now. How long had she been wearing it? 
And why did the thought of her in his clothing turn him on so much? 
“Where did you get that?” 

She whipped around, her knot of hair bobbing. Following his gaze, she glanced down at the sleeves that dangled over her hands, too long for her arms by half. 
"Oh. Um.” Her teeth caught her bottom lip like they always did when she was worried.
“I’m not mad. Just, where did you find it? I thought it was lost.”
“It was in the laundry basket one day.” Skye crossed her arms over her chest, hugging herself. “I was cold with the AC on so high, but I didn’t want to turn it down, since you’re always so warm when you get home. And it smelled like you…” Her voice trailed off as if she just realized what she’d said. Then she shrugged. “I wear it to bed a lot. I get cold at night.”
The sweatshirt was like a brand. His mark. His woman. Whatever tentative hold he’d had on his urges, his cravings collapsed faster than an untrained platoon of privates. He took the three steps across the room and grabbed her by the shoulders, hauling her into his body. She grunted but didn’t resist.
And when he lowered his lips to hers, she rose up to meet him.

Kat (or Jeanette!) spends her days surrounded by hunky alpha men…at least in her imagination. In real life, she’s a wife and a mother, keeping tabs on her husband of six years, her three year old daughter and the family dog, a lovable (but completely stupid) Goldendoodle. Hang around long enough and you’re guaranteed to hear at least one or two stories about these three…

What’s with the two names? Great question. Kat (or Jeanette) writes for a few different publishers. And due to the timing of some releases, two names just seemed like the right option. But Jeanette (or Kat!) can assure you, no matter which pen name you’re reading, you’re going to get sexy contemporary love. 

You can find her:

Facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012



My guest is romantic suspense author, Carol Kilgore. Carol hails originally from Texas, seems overly fond of Tiki Huts, has a great sense of humor, and a heart the size of Texas. I first met her as a fellow blogger and I've enjoyed reading her blog and getting to know her. This is not her first visit to Over Coffee. You may remember reading a story she wrote, SECRETS OF CHRISTMASas part of my Holiday Shorts I do each  December. 
It's my pleasure to have Carol back with us and this time with her debut, In Name Only.  

Thank you, Sia, for hosting me today. I'm very happy to be here and to share some things about me and about my debut novel, IN NAME ONLY.

My personal style is eclectic. I like to mix it up. If I wore a uniform, I would most likely pair it with frilly and/or colorful undies. I would know.

Bear with me. You'll see where this is going.

If our home came close to having a design style, it would be something like eclectic coastal contemporary, even though we no longer live at the coast. We have art and accessories from other places we've lived—like the New Mexico mountains and New York City—and a few family pieces mingled with an overall contemporary look.

It's the same with my blog, Under the Tiki Hut. It's all about the beach, which I love. I'm a Native Texan and write stories set in Texas, so the beach I most often see in my mind is a Texas beach, where tiki huts are also called palapas. But that doesn't mean you see my beach. I try to maintain a Tiki Hut feel for any beach anywhere. From Fiji to Oregon to Maine to the Irish Coast and back again.

So it follows that this eclectic mix extends into my writing as well. I mix a cup of this, a dash of that, a spoonful of the other into a blend I call Crime Fiction with a Kiss. Always at least one crime; always a love story.

Besides being eclectic, I'm also a little OCD about research. Not only do I love the process, I want to make sure all the facts in my fiction are correct. I don't claim to be perfect—no doubt readers will find things I got wrong. And there may be other things that slip past.

Here are a few of the many things I researched for IN NAME ONLY:

Local Trees. In Chapter One of IN NAME ONLY, Summer leans against a palm tree. The palm started out as a mesquite tree (pronounced mess-KEET) and would have remained a mesquite except for one tiny problem—I learned mesquites have long thorns. Ouch!

  • Shark Fishing.  A lot of guys in South Texas fish for shark from the Padre Island National Seashore beach. You can watch a short video at Texas Shark Fishing to see the last part of the process of bringing the shark to shore. It's a catch and release video of a 12-foot tiger shark. It may take the fisherman hours to reach this point. Look at the size of the man and look at all his gear. I spent the better part of a couple of days researching equipment for this sport, which ended up having only a few mentions in the story. But it was fun to learn!

  • Firefighters. Lots of information on firefighters is available on the web. I spent many days reading. I also talked one-to-one with some real firefighters with the Corpus Christi Fire Department who told me how they do things there.

  • The Federal Witness Security Program. Not much out there, and nobody was talking. Which would make me pretty darn happy if I were in the program. So I felt free to draw upon my imagination.

  • Padre Island. And of course, I spent time on Padre figuring out where everything in the story would physically be located. You'll need to make your own visit to the Island to find out which locations are real and which are specially created for IN NAME ONLY.

If you happen to see Summer Newcombe while you're there, say hi for me!


No home. No family. No place to hide. For Summer Newcombe, that's only the beginning.

The night Summer escapes from a burning Padre Island eatery and discovers the arsonist is stalking her, is the same night she meets Fire Captain Gabriel Duran. As much as she's attracted to Gabe, five years in the Federal Witness Security Program because of her father’s testimony against a mob boss have taught her the importance of being alone and invisible.

No matter how much she yearns for a real home, Summer relinquished that option the night she killed the man who murdered her father. But Gabe breaks down her guard and places both of them in danger. Summer has vowed never to kill again, but she's frantic she'll cost Gabe his life unless she stops running and fights for the future she wants with the man she loves.

Carol Kilgore is a Texas native who has lived in locations across the U.S. as the wife of a Coast Guard officer. Back under the hot Texas sun in San Antonio, Carol writes a blend of mystery, suspense, and romance she calls Crime Fiction with a Kiss. She and her husband share their home and patio with two active herding dogs, and every so often the dogs let them sit on the sofa.

Learn more about Carol and follow her here:

Monday, July 23, 2012


This is one of the hottest summers we’ve had in Missouri, for sometime. Certainly the heat started way earlier than the normal for Missouri. We normally don’t get triple digits until the third week of July and it continues, with rain and the cooler 90’s off and on. But this year? We’ve been sun baked with triple digits since mid June and very little rain on top of that.

Sigh. Murphy and me have had a ball.

Me and Murphy were dancing when my small non genetically modified corn crop decided to die—even though I was watering it. I had the plot farther away from the water source—hey we usually have rain and who knew there wouldn’t be anymore after the first of June. Peppers didn’t make it—either planting, the pole beans are scarce, the Zucchini, usually prolific gave me only a few fruits, same with the yellow squash. Bugs had a field day with what was there. Second crop of tomato plants were looking lush and good. Then the locust/grasshoppers discovered them this past week. Lots of green leaves one day and the next almost stripped to the stem. The veggies planted in containers so far seem to be doing okay if I can keep the dang bugs away. But they’re a late crop. I had my well-established Echinacea plot nearby the tomatoes and they are alive but not a petal is in existence. Yep, munched—ditto on my roses and two formerly gorgeous flowering Mulberries. Nasty little Japanese beetles have gorged on anything with flowers. UGH.

This was the year for new trees and flowering bushes. All four butterfly bushes died, ditto the two red maples, and I have one snowball tree, barely hanging on —out of 3. Apple trees, which flowered nicely this year, have already lost most of their leaves and whatever fruit is growing is very small. My poor Hostas are positively puny looking. None of the new barnyard Hollyhocks came up. All the old ones did but very short termed flowering. Much of the new stuff I had planned out over the winter and placed in various places in my yard just didn’t make it. My yard isn’t small and even with my John Deere rider it takes three hours to cut the lawn. Of course, right now I’m saving lots of gas since I don’t have any thing beyond greenish yellow crunchy grass. Trust me, it doesn’t need cutting. I need to talk to my tax person, to find out what is a tax write off. I know my hay is. Very little protein in that hay—what little we got.
The surrounding forests are stressed. Lots of protective thinning and die off. Vegetation is dying. The lack of water is problematic.  Lower pond is just about dry except a tiny section near the even tinier seeping spring. Yep, I found Murphy's footprints down there, too. Normally, I have five or six feet of water in the middle even in the hot August sun. A healthy creek surrounds the property like a U and it’s low right now as well. We didn't have much of a snow pack this winter although we did get rain. I have a very deep well and we sit on a chunk of dirt floating (okay, sitting) on water, still, we need to be judicious with water use.
I’ve basically realized what veggies I get this year will be a bonus. There is next year, right? Okay, I’ve accepted that. Mostly. Damn Murphy anyway!

Then Murphy, that scheming rogue, had to have a Sunday dance. My central air ceased blowing cool air at about 3:00 this afternoon. Fan works fine. The cooling part? Nope.  Monday through Wednesday we’re due temps over a 100. No window units. Yippy-kai-yay. It’s supposed to drop to 70 tonight and there is a relatively cool breeze blowing and all the fans I have are currently sucking in the cooler air. The house is well insulated and I’ll close all the windows by 9:00 a.m. and it will be cooler inside than outside—outside 101 inside maybe 88 if I’m lucky.

AC tech is scheduled to come out at 7:00 am tomorrow. There is water on the floor of that section of basement. Let’s hope all I need is a line unclogged.  Or something simple because replacing that Trane isn't something I want to have to do. That would suck big time.

Hey, anyone want Murphy? I can tell you he is a great dancer. Anyone?