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New Romance Novel by Laura Branchflower

New Romance Novels 2018! I’m currently working on three. Here is a sneak peek at the first…

Main characters:

Hero: Lucas Roe — NFL QB, 30 years old

Heroine: Carrie Chambers — HR Assistant Director at Washington, DC hotel, 24 years old

Chapter One

Carrie ran her hand down the length of her thigh, a coconut scent filling the air as she applied suntan lotion for the third time since arriving at the beach two hours earlier. She wasn’t going to chance burning in the strong Florida sun.

A shadow spread over her. A man had paused a few feet from her lounge chair, his large hands splayed on his hips as he stared out at the ocean. Carrie’s eyes rested momentarily on one of his hands, taking in his long fingers and wide palm before traveling up his well-toned arm to his muscled shoulder. He had obviously just arrived. It was her third day at the resort and he wasn’t someone you could overlook. He was at least six-foot-four with broad shoulders and an athletic body. The muscles in his upper back rippled as he adjusted his hands on his hips. His skin looked impossibly smooth. She took in a deep breath. It was the first time since it ended with Kevin that she took note of another man. Kevin. She wasn’t supposed to think about Kevin.

The high-pitched sound of female laughter accompanied two women in string bikinis walking up from the water, their attention focused on the man beside Carrie. She watched them blatantly stare at him, amazed at how obvious they were in their interest.

One of the women pulled back her shoulders, jutting her large breasts out as they came within feet of him. Carrie rolled her eyes. Behavior like the woman’s was why good-looking men had huge egos. She was basically offering herself to him.

He didn’t take the bait, continuing to stare forward as they passed within inches of him. When he didn’t turn to get a glimpse of the women from behind, Carrie’s curiosity about the stranger increased. There was no way Kevin would have resisted a look at their asses. She mentally chastised herself for again thinking of Kevin.

A cabana boy stopped beside the man, pointing off to their left as he told him where the rest of his party was located. “Thank you.” His deep voice fit him. “Would you mind putting this on my chair?” He held out his room key and sunglasses. “I want to take a swim.”

As soon as the cabana boy left, Carrie assumed the man would walk towards the water. Instead he began to prepare his body for his impending swim, tilting his head from one side to the other as he stretched out his neck and then shaking out his arms. She quietly lifted her cellphone from the table beside her chair, pulling up the camera before pointing it in his direction and resting it on her stomach. Words wouldn’t do him justice. She had to show Jodie what she was missing.

It was apparent from his profile with his etched jaw and straight nose that he was handsome, but she wasn’t prepared for how handsome until he turned his head. Her heart skipped when his eyes met hers, a bolt of awareness coursing through her.

“Sorry. I didn’t mean to block your view,” he said.

“No, it’s fine.” Her voice sounded breathless.

His gaze fell to her cell phone. Before she could react he had closed the distance between them and snatched it from her hands.

“Wha—what are you doing? That’s my phone,” she stammered, coming to her feet. “You can’t just take that.”

“I’m taking back what’s mine,” he said shortly. He was looking down at her phone as he spoke his thumb tapping the display.

“How would you like me to take a video of you without your permission?”

“I wasn’t…” she trailed off, her face heating.

“You weren’t what?” He lifted his gaze. “Taking a video of me?” He raised his eyebrows.

Her mouth went dry as she met his cool gaze. Even in a bathing suit, he was the most intimidating person she’d ever encountered. She dropped her eyes, completely mortified. He had caught her recording him. “I’m sorry. I—“

“Save it.” He tossed her phone onto her lounge chair.


“You were caught,” he interrupted, his lips turned down. “The only thing you’re sorry about is that you no longer have the video to show your friends or whatever the hell you planned to do with it.”

She opened her mouth, but couldn’t find words. His arrogance was shocking.

“Don’t you think I deserve a private life? Next time you want a video of someone, ask for permission.”

Carrie was still processing the most embarrassing moments of her life when Jodie dropped down beside her half an hour later. “What have I missed?”

“Nothing,” she lied, not prepared to verbalize her humiliation.

“Do you want to get in the water?”

“No!” Carrie burst out. “I mean. I don’t feel like it.” There was no way she was going to chance bumping into him.

“Okay.” Jodie pulled her hair up into a messy bun as she looked around. “Have you seen any football players? Someone on the elevator said a group of them checked in last night. They took part in some charity event yesterday.”

Carrie’s gaze shifted to the ocean, her heart rate accelerating as the man from earlier emerged from the surf. “Do you think he’s one?”

“Oh my God!” Jodie gripped Carrie’s arm. “That’s Lucas Roe!”

“No it’s not!” Carrie gasped, but even as the words left her lips she knew it was true. Lucas Roe was one of the most celebrated quarterbacks in the NFL. Not only was he also featured in half a dozen commercials, he also played for the Washington Kings, her hometown team. “I’m such an idiot.” She dropped her head back against the lounger.

“He’s coming right towards us,” Jodie whispered.

Carrie picked up her novel, opened it to a random page and held it in front of her face. She couldn’t bear to face him again.

“Mr. Roe?” The excited voice of a young boy had Carrie peaking over the top of her book. “My dad asked me to ask you for your autograph.” The boy glanced back at his father who was several yards away.

“We really admire you,” the man said. “You’re a pleasure to watch. Our favorite by far.”

“Thank you,” Lucas said in a tone much friendlier than the one he’d used on her earlier. He took the pen and paper the boy held out, asking him for his name, before signing his autograph.

“Thank you, Mr. Roe,” the boy gushed before running off with the paper clutched in his hand.

“You’re our favorite, too,” Jodie called out causing Carrie’s stomach to clench. “We’re huge fans. May I have your autograph too? You could sign my stomach or…wherever,” she teased in a husky voice that only came out for men.

Carrie laid the open book over her face. She prayed he would ignore Jodie like he’d ignored the two string bikinis earlier. When she felt a shadow descend over her body, she knew he was within feet of them.

“You have better manners than your friend,” he said.

“Better manners than my friend?” Jodie’s eyes narrowed in confusion.

He nodded towards Carrie. “She tried to take a video of me earlier.”

“What?” Jodie laughed aloud. Her gaze swung to Carrie. “You took a video of him?”

“I didn’t know who he was,” Carrie mumbled from beneath her book.

“Then why were you taking a video?” he asked.

Carrie felt a new wave of heat flood her cheeks. She needed a drink. “It was an accident,” she lied.

“Right,” he said dryly. “Because cellphones hold themselves up and start videotaping.”

“Why did you take a video of him?” Jodie asked. “She seriously didn’t recognize you,” she told Lucas. “I had to tell her who you were.”

Carrie closed her eyes beneath the book. She was going to kill Jodie. “Do you mind leaving, Mr. Roe? You’re blocking my sun.”

“Is your cellphone full of videos of random men?” he asked.

“No!” Carrie abruptly sat up, letting the book fall to her lap as she glared up at him, no longer concerned with what he thought of her. “You were standing right in front of me stretching and you have a nice body, so I was going to send it to her.” She nodded towards Jodie. “To show her what she was missing—that’s it. If I had known you were such a cocky asshole, I never would have done it.”

Instead of barking something back at her, like she expected, he observed her in silence for several seconds, the corners of his lips twisting in an obvious attempt to keep from smiling. “Someone has a temper.”

“Fuck you.” Carrie plopped back on her lounger and picked up her book. “I hate athletes.”

“Her ex is a professional hockey player,” Jodie supplied.

“Jodie!” Carrie hissed, frowning at her. “Stop talking about me like I’m not here.”

“What did he do?” Lucas asked as if she hadn’t spoken.

“Serial cheater,” Jodie answered.

“He wasn’t a serial…” Carrie trailed off. Why was she defending Kevin? And why was she discussing this at all. She closed the book, picked up her cellphone and came to her feet. “How about respecting my privacy,” she bit out not quite meeting Lucas’s eyes. He may have been an asshole, but that didn’t stop her from feeling attracted to him.

“Carrie don’t leave,” Jodie began, “I—“

“I’ll see you later,” Carrie interrupted before slipping past Lucas.

She made it less than five yards before a warm hand clasped her upper arm. “Don’t leave on my account.”

“I’m not.” She continued to stare forward, her entire arm tingling from his touch.

“I’m sorry for earlier. I thought you knew who I was.”

“It’s fine. You were right. I shouldn’t have taken the video. If you don’t mind…” She pulled her arm from his grasp.

He stepped in front of her, blocking her path. “Have lunch with me.”

She looked at him then, which was a mistake. As soon as their eyes met, she felt an undeniable connection.

“Come on.” He smiled, revealing his perfect white teeth. “I’m not an asshole. I promise.”

“You were a complete asshole to me half an hour ago. Remember?” She raised her eyebrows.

“That’s just the persona I take on when someone’s invading my privacy. It wasn’t real.”

Her heart did a funny flutter when he smiled again. “I don’t do athletes,” she said summoning up her last strands of resolve.

“I’m only asking to buy you lunch.” The desire flashing in his eyes promised much more than a meal. “I probably wouldn’t let you do me so soon after meeting anyway.”

The innuendo behind his words had her pulse jumping. She needed distance. There was no way she was going to be able to resist this man. “You remind me of someone I want to forget. Excuse me.”

“How could you say no to lunch with Lucas Roe?” Jodie asked when she entered their suite an hour later to find Carrie stretched on top of one of two beds. “He’s Lucas Roe, Carrie. He’s probably worth fifty million dollars.”

“And he’s a professional athlete who didn’t show me the slightest interest until I told him he was an asshole. I’m just a conquest to him. He isn’t used to women that don’t fall at his feet.”

“So what? It was just lunch. Don’t you want to be able to tell people you shared a meal with Lucas Roe? Lucas Roe, Carrie. Lucas Roe asked you out.”

“Why do you keep saying his name?” Carrie asked.

“Because,” Jodie began stretching out on the bed beside her, “I don’t think you realize how big this is.”

“Are you forgetting why we came here?” Carrie asked.

“No, of course not. But he’s—“

“Lucas Roe,” Carrie finished. “Another self-absorbed athlete.” Her heart ached at the thought of Kevin. “Considering I was supposed to be marrying one this weekend, do you really think it’s a good idea for me to go out with another one?”

“You can’t just group them together because they’re athletes,” Jodie said. “I just spent almost a half hour talking to him. He was remarkably normal.”

“Then why don’t you go out with him?” She tossed her forearm over her eyes.

“Because he didn’t ask me. He’s interested in you.”

“Please stop. He reminded me of Kevin.” She didn’t want to think about Kevin. The whole reason they’d taken a last minute vacation was to distract her from thinking about Kevin.

“He was nothing like Kevin. He’s taller and leaner. Kevin’s more stocky and—”

“Not physically,” Carrie interrupted. “There was something about his eyes. I felt like he could pull me in—just like Kevin did.”

“You’re overthinking this,” Jodie insisted. “It was just lunch.”

“I’d sleep with him,” Carrie said. “I know I would.” She’d been fantasizing about it for the past hour.

“That’s not a bad thing.” Jodie propped herself up on her elbow and stared down at her. “You’re twenty-four and you’ve only slept with one guy. For all you know Kevin was terrible in bed.”

“He wasn’t terrible.” If he’d been terrible, she wouldn’t be craving the physical intimacy they’d shared. “And stop saying things to make me think about him. You’re being a terrible friend right now.”

“No, I’m telling you things you need to hear. You gave him six years of your life. Don’t give him another minute.”

“It’s only been four months,” Carrie said. Four months since he’d broken her heart. She cursed softly when a tear slipped from the corner of her eye. “God, I can’t believe I can still produce tears for him.” She brushed her knuckles over her cheek. Until that moment, she’d gone two weeks without crying, the longest period since he’d left her.

When they returned to the beach in the late afternoon to enjoy cocktails while the sun went down, there was no sign of Lucas Roe. There was also no sign of him in the resort’s open-air restaurant where they had a late dinner, or at the only on-property night club where they danced until well after midnight. Carrie outwardly showed no reaction to his absence, never mentioning him to Jodie or commenting when Jodie mused about where he might be, but inside she felt the stab of disappointment. She was attracted to him and his attention had been a welcome stroke to her battered ego.

“Lucas left the resort last night,” Jodie told Carrie the following afternoon. She had just returned from the beachside bar, a Mai Tai in each hand. “Apparently the word got out that he was here and everyone started clamoring for pictures and autographs. He checked out before dinner.”

He was gone. Carrie’s internal debate over whether or not to let him take her out was now a moot point. She would probably regret not going for the rest of her life. “I guess that’s the price of fame.”

“He rented a villa on Key Biscayne. We’re going there tonight.”

“What?” Carrie pushed herself up on her elbows. “What do you mean we’re going there?”

Jodie took a sip of her Mai Tai before continuing. “Justin Stagers and Buddy Thomas are at the bar,” she said naming two all pro offensive linemen. “They just invited me to his villa. Told me to bring my friend.”

“I can’t just show up there,” Carrie said. “He’s going to think I’m interested in him.”

“You are interested in him. You’ve been checking out every person that’s come to the beach today, hoping they’re him.”

“I have not!” Carrie said indignantly.

Jodie laughed. “You’ve turned around so many times; your neck is probably going to be sore tomorrow.”

“You’re unbelievable.”

“What’s unbelievable is that you don’t see how ridiculously transparent you are. You may be able to lie to yourself, but you’re not lying to me.”

“You’re so annoying,” Carrie grumbled.

“I’m your best friend. I have to be annoying sometimes. But seriously, thinking about Lucas Roe is a good thing. Much better than thinking about—“

“Don’t say his name,” Carrie interrupted. Jodie was right. She’d been so distracted by thoughts of Lucas Roe, she’d barely thought of Kevin all day.


“He probably has a girlfriend?”

“You should know. Does he?”

“How would I know?” Carrie frowned. “I barely spoke to him. You’re the one who talked to him for half an hour.”

“But you were the one cyberstalking him this morning,” Jodie said smugly.

Carrie had spent a half hour on her computer that morning learning everything she could about Lucas Roe. She’d thought Jodie was asleep, but clearly she’d been wrong. “He dated Leanne Reiner for two years,” Carrie admitted referring to a country singer. “He’s also dated a couple of super models. Surprise. Surprise.”

“So he’s not with anyone now?”

“It didn’t say, but he could be.” Kevin dated Natasha for months before it made the news. Carrie swallowed down the bitterness in her throat at the thought of Kevin and his Russian model.

“Don’t,” Jodie began rubbing Carrie’s arm. “Don’t let your thoughts go there.”

Carrie took a long sip from her straw and then another, pushing the images from her mind. “I hate him.” As she uttered the words, she knew they weren’t true. She could never hate Kevin. She’d loved him for too long.

“You’re coming out with me tonight. It doesn’t have to be anything more than a distraction. You don’t need to think past tonight. Just like the psychologist told you—take it one day at a time.”

1,302 Comments on “New Romance Novel by Laura Branchflower

  1. A sense of belonging was my favourite book of yours and my no 1 romance novel of all time. Perfect mix of my favourites thing in romance book.
    Also I love your sense of humor especially the banter between Michael and his Dad. Have you ever thought about writing a story about Michael and Joseph’s step daughter?
    Lots of love ?

  2. I just finished your first two books and am waiting for your third. I would love to know if book 1 of this series ended with a cliffhanger? When published as you are a new author to me will the paperback be published at the same time as the “e” release. I know these questions seem tiny compared with your other folks but I am new.

    • Hi Denise!
      Thanks for reaching out. There are no cliffhangers in any of my books. They are all stand alone. I have released three books — When I Saw You, A Sense of Belonging and A White Picket Fence. The first two have some of the same characters. The third is very different and is more of a family drama. I am about one month away from publishing a sequel to A White Picket Fence. That book will called be Swimming Naked — again White Picket Fence is a stand alone but the characters will continue in my new book.
      And yes, the paperback will be published at the same time as the ebook.

  3. I know it’s cheesy and probably would be no good but would actually enjoy seeing a vow renewal scene between Lina and Phil to mark a fresh start and an end to all the drama!

  4. Janet, go to Laura’s home page…select BLOG on top bar…you’ll see WPF Sequel and there is seven comments…and that’s where we are now….

  5. Laura did the family attend church during Phil’s period of temporary insanity? Also, I think you mentioned we may see Phil’s brother in SN. Are they close?

    • I wondered this too! Would be good to see a church attendance scene, and a bit of self reflection from Phil.

  6. I guarantee, if Lina being tired and not sleeping well was because of something Kim pulled, that is going to pull at Phil’s heart and up his guilt factor. His words “Are we okay?” shows how he is concerned about how much Lina can take….I bet Phil feels at times, that he is walking through a mine field.

  7. There is another comment section after the blog where I announce that I’m writing a sequel to WPF… why don’t we move this conversation there so we don’t have to spend half an hour scrolling down. If you can’t find it email me and I’ll send you the link.

  8. Yup! Definetely swoony. You know what my question will be Laura. What happened before? Why wasn’t phil with Lina? Is this right after a wedge trick? LOL.
    Scrolling up and down now takes a full min. By the time SN comes out I don’t think we will be able to scroll at all?

    • Laura…you know what swoon is…in fact that picked my heart rate up…I can’t wait……I’ll be more than happy to have a callus from scrolling if that’s what it takes Janet. We’ll have to wait and see what caused that scene, I guarantee……

  9. Laura..Oh good…she did say “With you…always with you.” Can I have a swoon line (like that) from SN in exchange for a story? LOL….

    Title: The Time I Almost Abscessed My Husband’s Brain!!!

    More extenuating circumstances, but stuff happens….Right???

    • I have no way of knowing which lines are “swoon lines”. I’m always surprised at the phrases underlined in the novels — I just write and other people tell me which lines move them. I’ll give you this instead…

      “Are we okay?” Phil asked, in a tone low enough for only her ears.
      “Of course.” Lina clasped his hand, giving it a reassuring squeeze in response to the concern in his eyes. “I’m just a little tired. I didn’t sleep well. I missed my husband.”
      “Yeah?” He placed his beer on the island behind her, his eyes never leaving hers as he curved his hands around her hips. “I missed you.” He brushed his lips over hers. “I love you,” he said, his breath warm against her lips.
      “I know.” Lina fisted the front of his shirt.
      “Stop it!” Katie called out. “No one wants to see their parents kissing.”
      Phil lifted his head slightly, pressing his forehead against Lina’s. “Remember when we wanted her to talk more?”
      “Shh.” Lina tugged on his shirt. “Be nice.”

      • This scene sounds amazing? Love a bit of angst and uncertainty! They seem to be so happy! Can’t wait for great scenes with these two!

      • This scene sounds amazing? Love a bit of angst and uncertainty! They seem to be so happy! Can’t wait for great scenes with these two, think there will be some great drama but so much love!

  10. Laura I have a question, it is a continuation of Janet’s…Will Phil have a moment in SN where he can’t find Lina or she won’t answer her cell phone? Those type incidents make him fearful…ugh! Turning off her cell phone data, would preclude him from tracking her. Don’t know what SN holds (can’t wait to find out), but when I’m stressed I like to be by myself sometimes, to think things through and get my path forward. Lina might need a couple of hours breathing room too!!!!

  11. That’s what I’m thinking too! I told Laura today, I know she’ll do what’s right for Lina and Liam. I don’t know how Lina and Liam’s relation is going to flow, but Lina is a natural born mother and Laura correct me if I wrong, but Phil would want Lina to raise Liam, verses the alternate choice. LOL. Plus he would have all his chickens under one roost! Thank you my family is gorgeous, love love them!

    I told my daughter, I am nice…she said mama, you got kicked off the benevolence committee at church, for not being benevolent! That did happen, but in my defense there was extenuating circumstances, I’m just saying!

    • Yes, definitely — Phil would want all his children in his house given the choice.
      You were kicked off the “being kind” committee?!?! Are you sure you didn’t punch the toddler first?

        • Okay, the being kind committee was being taken advantage of by a couple that wouldn’t (work), but could. They cashed their monthly checks at the casino and midway through the month needed us to pay their bills. You know I’m kind of a detail person, so I tracked it for several months and then refused to vote to pay their bills, and presented my case they agreed… but then came the really kind people (overly kind) people’s rebuttal. I like maybe have said something like we need to put money toward buying shovels so everyone could dig their heads out off the sand! I was like replaced. The End The couple huffed and puffed and left the church, and did it at several other churches in the area. I’ve been going there 27 years! So it didn’t phase me or them. LOL.

  12. LOL. I should have realized I’m surrounded by Samanthas here. I’m the uptight Charlotte for sure. Tracie your family sounds gorgie!!
    We can get back to joint vs full custody debate tomorrow! Remember Laura told us Kim has no redeeming qualities? Somehow I don’t think she’s going to turn born again anytime soon. Thoughts?

      • Welcome back Laura. Hope you aren’t too down. I also lost a mom friend of 10 yrs. last year when the family decided to move to Spain permanently. We still email but… hope your friend’s move isn’t permanent.
        You ARE the voice of reason here but I believe you have some Samantha in you! No way Miranda can whip up those “rippling muscles beneath the skin” lines. LOL

        • I have a bit of Samantha (Deighj — for reference Samantha is the sex-crazed character) but I took the test and I am Miranda. I was talking to my daughter today and she said there is no way you won’t be Miranda (Deighj — she’s the boring workaholic).

          As far as the move to California — everyone I care about who moves to California never comes back. I have a sister, brother, nieces, nephews and cousins out there. It’s okay — I like to visit. We spent summers in San Diego when I was a kid.

  13. That is why we are both on team Phil Carrie. My daughter said I’m a cross between Miranda and Samantha. She said definitely not Charlotte! I said why not? She said, because she is nice mama! LOL!

  14. Tell that friend moving to LA not to look any goofballs in the eyes. I did that the last time I was in a big airport and the goofball asked me how to get to baggage claim, I pointed and said follow the signs. The freakazoid reaches out to shake my hand and then busted out laughing and said I farted! It doesn’t pay to be nice anymore. Remember girls, don’t meet eyes with Goofballs!

      • No I can’t and I don’t….this is my life J-Girl! My daughter says mama, you just have one of those faces where people want to tell you their life story! She also tells me quit saying hello to people. LOL. My granddaughter and I were traveling to New Orleans so she could play basketball. We were minding our own business in Atlanta, she was eating some wings and the guy approached us (drunker than Cooter Brown) and did what I said above. I busted out laughing and my granddaughter immediately started texting her mom and my daughter, she was like howling with laughter. Then a couple weeks later (minding my own business again), I’m setting in a chair waiting on my daughter and granddaughter who are trying on clothes in the mall, this toddler comes up and punches me in the gut. I’m thinking where is your mom, this is why we have Amber Alert. The mom hollers for the Junior Boxer to come to her, he turns to me one more time and I do what any mature adult would do, I said go tell you mom your shirt doesn’t match your shorts! My daughter and granddaughter howl with laughter on that one too, but my granddaughter does say when she gets a look at the kid, you are right Mimi his shirt doesn’t match! Booya!

        • drunker than Cooter Brown! Never heard booya outside of a navy seals book. I love it! Hilarious! How tall is your granddaughter btw you firecracker? Oh and I wanna know if you wore leather pants riding your honda 30000 whatever bike.
          Deighj, are you east coast time or west? We are all sisterhood here and Tracie likes big families and Laura tolerates it I think. Since Laura’s away for the night I’ll throw out the comparison question Tracie has no interest in. Nothing to do with our book. Which Sex and the City character are you? Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, or Charlotte? I took a quiz and it says I’m like Carrie but I think I’m more Charlotte.

          • I took the quiz. Samantha was the answer. I would say Miranda with a splash of Samantha. LOL

          • Janet I never wore leather, LOL….just blue jeans. My model gorgeous granddaughter is 5’11” tall. She has eyes the same color as my husband, gray/blue. Depending on the light is what the color their are. My husband is 6’ and our son is 6’3”.

          • Tracie — Add half an inch to your granddaughter and you have my daughter — basically twins — does she have long curly hair?

          • Yes her hair is a rich dark brown that hangs about the middle of her back (thick). If she lets it dry naturally it has beautiful natural curls.

          • Thank you, im sure your daughters a knockout too! I’m going to miss her so much. She’s going to be 5 hours away, but I’m just a phone call away. My daughter did her Masters Program in Memphis and that was 8 hours away, that about killed me, my husband and her brother. Her school parking lot had a 6Ft fence around it with barbed wire. It went against every protective instinct I had to leave her in TN. But it went great without incident!

          • I know the feeling, believe me. My daughter lives in New York City (lots of traffic lights and people). She’s never coming home

          • Janet you’re not going to believe this but I abhor television. Absolutely loathe it. I talked my husband into not buying a TV when we moved back to Georgia from the Pacific Northwest but that lasted a couple of months. My hometown is Gainesville, Florida. I have never seen a single episode of Sex and the City. That is probably TMI there.

          • Good for you! I rarely turn on the television when I’m writing, maybe once every couple of weeks, but I absolutely LOVED Sex in the City!

  15. I have to go to a going away party ugh (losing another friend — this one is moving to LA) — I’ll check back later.

  16. Janet I have an outfield scenario but I think I’ll save for tomorrow. Laura is working so hard today, and in SN mode!

    Laura what is the mood of our scene today?

    • it’s a good day — a scene with Lina’s extended family and we all know how fond Phil is of Lina’s father and Julian.

  17. Laura! You wrote for 6 hours! On Gods day no less!! You should play hooky for the rest of the day-Can’t have you getting sick now. Yes, let’s move on from SB. I’m just glad Phil didn’t take Kim to Paris! That was the last thought before zzquil knocked me out. Bahaha. And it still boggles my mind how much you had to cut out but I guess it worked in our favor because we get SN now! One question and I’m done. Was the one night in the original manuscript before deleting?

    • LOL 6 is nothing — Once I’m in the flow of a book, I can’t stop without having all kinds of issues getting back in to the character’s minds. I usually just carry my computer around with me and even when I’m talking to people I have the scene I’m working on open, and I’ll just reread paragraphs — you can imagine that my family gets a little frustrated with me — I’m literally living in my head.
      In answer to your question — yes, but in the original Phil told Lina about the trip before she received the picture. After Kim sent the texts he didn’t want to leave her with any amunition to blindside Lina. The picture was still a shock, but she was a little prepared. The final version of WPF was quite different than the original — remember the editor wanted the book to be about a triangle not an affair.

      • Wow! Love triangle theme is so popular right now but I hate it. I don’t consider WPF as a love triangle. Sad about your friend!! Crap. Going away parties are a cry fest.

        • the editor was pushing for the love triangle with Lina, Nick and Phil — basically who will she choose. I think an affair is just straight cheating — not necessarily loving two people

  18. Tell me about it Deighj. It’s like one of those word search puzzles, I chase these girls all over this blog. Then sometimes I hit the wrong reply and my post isn’t even under the right reply. I’ve just thrown myself all over this blog, but Laura just goes with it, she understands and knows what I mean LOL…So just go with it sister!

  19. I’m a newbie on this blogging stuff so need some help in understanding how it works. My confusion relates to reading a post and the corresponding reply. I read a post and then find a reply several posts down so I have to scroll up to find the post being replied to. Also whenever I come onto the site it always starts at the first post back in January. I think Laura said there’s over a thousand posts now so it is aggravating to have to do that. What am I missing? Please be kind LOL.

    • You aren’t missing anything Deighj — it’s annoying. When you push the reply under a comment, your comment will appear after all the other comments related to the original. If you leave a general comment at the bottom of the page — that will be a standalone and show up as the most recent comment. And yes, you have to scroll down all comments — if there is a way of making it easier, I haven’t figured it out.

    • Deighj, I didn’t even know how to hit reply to specific posts until 2 weeks ago. Dont worry you are brilliant.

      • I’ma gonna let my kiddos know that I am too most definitely brilliant cause Janet said I am! Can you imagine the eye rolling that statement will bring? Given that I birthed little aliens that morphed into bigger aliens who speak a foreign language I don’t understand, there will be floor rolling.

  20. Oh my Lord, I’m trying to entertain a 2 year old and type at the same time or after Phil and Lina got back together! I’m telling you all the L’s can get you!

    • LOL — you’re lucky! Tell me about the Ls. You can throw my name in to the mix (you actually call Lina Laura sometimes — I of course don’t mind because unlike Janet, I love Phil).

    • Laura, you said last night , where does it say Tracey stayed another month after SB! LOL! I thought in my dreams! I knew Kim would start the old wedge trick between Phil and Lina again. It worked once why not twice! Oh but she is under estimating Lina’s staying power. Lina’s rooted in like a good eye tooth! Phil knows what Kim is doing right?

      • What topics are we on today Tracie? Let’s go easy. I don’t want to think too much today. Lol. Oh also Laura I wondered this. Is there a part in Swimming Naked where Phil is gripped with fear he will lose Lina again due to Kim’s interference/wedge trick(lol. Only Tracie can say this)?

      • Phil’s no dummy. There aren’t any ‘pull out your hair scenes’ where you’re screaming at your computer telling him that he’s being manipulated. Remember, Phil has three children — he knows more about babies than Kim. I really try to keep the scenes realistic. If I can’t imagine them happening, I don’t write them.

  21. Laura I’m glad you moved us on from SB, what will be will be! Now you can tell I’m struggling with custody. But I could see A visitation type situation like Lia has with Ned, but their would have to be major changes with the fruitcake! I could also see full custody with Phil and Lina too. I know you’ll do what’s best for Liam and Lina. But I’m did Kim burn up Phil’s phone the 3.5 months with manufactured excuses over Liam or did she start that after Phil and Liam got together?

  22. Oh and Janet — your girl Veronica did make a brief appearance on the blog last night. She made a couple of comments on some older (August 9th) posts. I’m guessing she’s a bit behind.LOL

  23. Oh one more point about cutting scenes — my original WPF was 120,000 words (not sure if I’ve mentioned this yet or not). The editor chopped half the book and then I had to rewrite the whole thing and add Katie and Matt scenes. The final was 91,000. That was a whole lot of cutting. That won’t happen this time.

  24. Good morning, girls! I’ve been up writing for six hours but am taking a quick break before getting back to my scene. This is the only other thing I will say about Steamboat — Swimming Naked is not about the Steamboat mystery, so you will have all your answers in the first ten pages of the new novel — then we will all (hopefully) be able to move on. In retrospect, I wish I had given everyone closure at the end of WPF. It has haunted too many people.

  25. I think it could turn out like that book. Lina does have a big heart and once she is attached to Liam, I don’t think she’ll like only having him part-time. I think (don’t kill me) but maybe Kim could show a small unselfish side and give Liam to Lina to raise, recognizing that she is not mother material. I know that is so out of character for Kim recognizing anything about herself. But somehow Phil will make her see the light, he has to for an HEA or maybe another man that she is mesmerized by does and he makes her realize she is only Phil’s vessel!

  26. I think the only thing we can figure on is getting the book LOL! Our rabbit chasing has left us eating crow LOL! But it is fun trying to figure…..

  27. Took a zzzquil bc of a headache I got form the beach today. I’m groggy. I will answer all tomorrow. I want Lina to get full custody. Kim will meet someone and let Phil have Liam. I think it may turn out like that Roxane winkler book. What do you think? We still have
    To figure out if this is how it ends or not.

  28. Janet we have to analyze joint or full custody too. I’m torn over what a cutie Liam’s going to be and also Lina having to go in reverse when she has her kids at an age where she has a little freedom! I think if Kim could find a decent guy, and dial down the crazy, joint might be fine! What are your thoughts??

  29. Yes, I do love Joseph and Nick, but they can’t be compared to Phil or Tony Lol. Joseph’s sense of humor and hotness made him adorable sweet to me. Nick was hot too, just not Phil. I couldn’t see Lina with him. But like Laura said with the right woman, I would probably swoon over Nick, but I cow slobber of Phil and Tony!

    • Ok you think they slept on linas bed? I think he put Kim in Megan’s room or even a guest room. He probably have said he’s too tired and they didn’t make use out of the bed. She could have woken him up after the picture. Then seduced him. Phil was disoriented from sleep.

  30. Janet the picture was taken from the other side of the bed at SB, I wonder if there was a dent in Lina’s pilllow or her side of the bed was disturbed (much)! I just don’t know!

  31. I’ve been analyzing SB, I could possibly be swayed except for one scene that just keeps pulling me back. I can understand in Chapter 29, why Phil wouldn’t explain to Lina about SB, he wouldn’t bare his sins in front of Nick, that would go against his personality big time. I can also see why Phil wouldn’t have explained anything about SB in Chapter 30, because he was hurt and probably felt Lina didn’t deserve an explanation! However, the surgery scene where Lina says you took her to SB and he’s says I know why, you don’t have to remind me.” Why didn’t he use a lifeline at that time? It was just the two of them! Then I think, she was a planner, maybe it was before the affair started and she was in a guest room. But it could be a curve ball!

  32. LOL. Oh ye of little faith. you know you love Joseph. You are gonna regret that comment when Laura gets Nicks story out. I will let that one go bc you kept me in stitches most of the night. Tomorrow I have another comparison question that Laura’s daughter may appreciate but you may roll your eyes at.

  33. Ok, I have one more suggestion. Laura’s squad. But if I’m guessing correctly, posse is more our generation so whichever is fine. I can’t keep a straight face if it’s naked bowleggers. Also, I’m super happy I get things wrong! I thought this whole time the one night-phew!!- happened after spring break. I don’t know where I got 3 days and April.

      • ooh! 3 of them together. What about 4 of them together? pushing it? I assumed too much. You know when you said Phil put black lounge pants on I immediately thought so did Nick.

    • Me too Janet that’s why I asked how she wrote. I’m always trying to go back to WPF and count months. I figured Lina and you have the same birth month OCT, by the timeline after the separation.

      Laura will there be a scene with Phil, Kim and Lina? I don’t know if Phil would let Lina confront Kim with him there, he would put her behind him and try to protect her. But I would love for him to be behind her and she go all Alpha female, my man, my husband!

  34. That’s a good thing sister they won’t bother you that way! LOL. It has to be a swimming reference! But we can change you posse name based on what you are writing! We can to see what the other girls come up with, then we can all pick.

    • Tracie, do you still make your husband laugh everyday? Peepee!! Also 12 hrs Tracie. Not 3 days like I thought. Why did I think 3 days?
      Did you know Deighj?

      • I don’t know, like always though I assume way too much, until I can see both sides. This is where I’m at a disadvantage and if I was Laura I’d be having a ball, I’ve never been a puppeteer! One can only dream! LOL

      • Sittin here sippin on sinner’s juice so color me stupid Janet but I’ve lost the thread here. Twelve hours or three days?

    • Oh Oh I’ve got it!!! How bout “Swimming Naked” or the “Naked Truth”? Of course we’d have to shorten the name to like maybe “Naked Posse.”

  35. OMG! You made me cry again Tracie! And I read it while I was walking Chandler (my dog) so now my neighbors think I’m crazy

  36. Awww Deighj, you are going to be so fun! I love games where I can use my imagination! I have to ponder on this for a minute!

  37. Ladies, I think you should know that after reading Laura’s blog for a few weeks I thought you deserved a name and came up with “Laura’s Posse.” But after reading how far Tracie will go to land a contract I think that name is a bit bland and would welcome suggestions.

    • Hmmmm, I don’t think so LoL! If their not hairy and muscled like Phil’s, that would be a definite no! LOL

  38. I was hoping but it would have been out of character! Thank you Laura for keeping Phil the man we know and love!!

    • You know what they did at SB Janet! That’s why it’s being sold fully furnished, especially if they didn’t ski….LOL.

      The question I want to know is how long where they there?

        • Omg!!!! This is a huge reveal. Huggge. I didn’t think we would get this out of you. My fingers can’t move fast enough. Ok Kim joined him the next am right?!! You guys! Phil realized his mistake right away. 12hrs(not 24!) too late in my opinion. Can I say this one more time? Lina’s picture is right there! I hope he didn’t put it in the nightstand and Kim took it out for special effects. Otherwise it tells me he felt guilty but went through with the night anyway. Gah!!

          • I still think he took her there…..they may have come in late though maybe a flight delay and didn’t do the deed in Lina’s bed! But he never denied it when Lina accused him of doing it.. Because did they go anywhere besides NYC. Remember in Chapter 2 (I think). Laura just asked, does any of the other parents travel? I think it will be one of those wait and see….But Lina just slept with Nick in his bed too!

      • One night, now I’m spun up at him, one night and he couldn’t have gone to a hotel? I know I have to wait but Geez!

        • Ok Lina isn’t phil and Nick isn’t Phil but I’ll take the sleeping in bed alone. It’s out of Phil’s character. I bet he saw linas pic and was jolted by it and said I’m tired. Listen, he still had a month or so with Kim afterwards so he doesn’t totally get a pass but I’ll take 12 hrs(not 24!) Omg. My poor heart. That’s why I asked if he normally slept naked. Kim the devious planner got so mad she took a pic to use later. He didn’t tell Lina because he still was there with her and to him the moment he decided to go to SB he committed the crime.

          • Where does it say he had another month with Kim after the Steamboat trip? Are you guessing?

        • Yes he took her there. Why CO now is the question. I’m gonna stick to he had a case there. Don’t ask me why a person or a firm from
          CO would hire Phil’s firm. It must be one of Phil’s acquaintances and there’s some godawful film festival going on so all big hotels are booked. Kim wouldn’t be caught dead at a B&B inn so really Phil had no choice. I can wish and still be in denial for a bit longer.

  39. Schooled! Easy peasy not. Bahaha. Ok after Laura’s answer I realized nick would wear it but phil keeps his dignity. Tracie, I literally saw the rippling muscle Lol. Maybe Phil didn’t tell Lina yet. Laura if they didn’t ski then what the heck did they do there? I know. In the sequel. Thanks for that bit. It was dang good!!

  40. I’m still swooning soft kiss, my wife…..Wowza
    But whatever happened earlier that evening hasn’t seemed to bother Lina very much!

  41. Okay, but Deighj you only get a half point, because he didn’t wear them for Lina either LOL. I bet Phil was tired, after being so mad at Kim earlier, talk about your adrenaline crash! Did you girls see the part where my alphas muscles were rippling under his shirt? Yes!

  42. Only one of you (Deighj) was right…


    “Do we have to do this?” Phil came out his wardrobe in black boxer briefs. “It’s midnight and we still have to put all gifts under the tree. I’m tired.”
    “It’s a tradition.”
    “One year doesn’t make a tradition.”
    “It will be after next year. Here,” Lina paused beside him holding out a pair of elf pajamas, the exact replica of the ones Logan was wearing earlier.
    “What in the hell are those?” he asked, making no move to take them from her outstretched hand.
    “I bought us all a pair for Christmas.”
    “I’m not wearing them.”
    “Come on. It will be fun. It will make the kid’s laugh.”
    “Nope.” He crossed to his bureau.
    “For me?” She watched him step into black lounge pants, the muscles in his upper arms and back rippling beneath his skin. “Just wear them long enough for a picture. Do you know how hard it was to get a pair large enough for you?”
    “That’s because there’s no market for them.” He tugged a long-sleeved dark T-shirt over his head. “If I put those on I’ll lose my man card and neither of us want that, do we?”
    “I’m willing to chance it,” she said dryly.
    “Well lucky for you, I’m not.” He stopped before her and dropped a soft kiss on her lips. “My wife isn’t going to have a memory of me dressed as a big elf.”
    She tossed them onto the end of the bed, knowing he wasn’t going to change his mind. “You’re no fun.”

  43. Girls, what if Phil couldn’t pick Liam up and Lina had to drive the green mile? Then when Kim opened the door thinking it was Phil, and she stood in front of Lina wearing a Desperate Skank nightie? You take it from here Janet…..I love this….

    • That’s right Carrie…Him wearing them proud for the family would null and void Janet’s tightass Comment!

      • I just threw that out there, because anything with SB sets J-Girl off! Just like she knows the Nick comparisons to Phil and Tony sets me off! It’s kind of like a sibling rivalry thing….but is so fun!

    • Tracie. Why must you rile me up this way? Now you got me thinking and I changed my answer to maybe. Ugh!!! Do you?? You know I’m in denial that Phil even took Kim there. I think she just showed up the next day. Also sorry if this grossed anyone out but I was watching Chris cuomo last night. I thought hmmm 40percent phil? Emphasis on 40 percent. Lol.

  44. Laura I have a question about how a writer puts a novel together. I think it will help me with the WARNING posts. Do you write from prologue to epilogue? I’m wondering about order or do you write scenes and them piece them together as you go? I’m constantly trying to figure out timelines between the two books.

    • I wondered same thing when you said you were 1/3 done. I mean certain scenes must just come to you out of order.

      • I write the book from beginning to end. I sometimes know future scenes but I don’t draft them until I reach that point in the book because characters change and I want to make sure I understand where they are in their heads. When I finish I go back through the entire book and add and/or delete a few scenes — if a scene doesn’t have a point I get rid of it. And if I feel like something needs more explanation or examples, I’ll add a scene. When I wrote A Sense of Belonging there were no scenes deleted but I added about five scenes — My daughter was home with a friend from college and they said it needed more sex so I added the shower scene and the scene after the cookie display. They also thought Tony was too cold to her father, so I added him calling her father after the photographs came out. In the original Casey blew her friends off on New Year’s Eve — my daughter’s friend didn’t like that so I added the New Years Eve party scene. When I say the Swimming Naked is 1/3 done that is based purely on length — I’ve written over 30,000 words and a novel is usually about 90,000.

        • Don’t delete!!!!!!!!! Just add add and then add more. No deleting. Thank god for your daughter and her friend!! Oh yes! The cookie scene….

  45. Laura I seriously thought about your question, “Dont we want Kim to find another man?” Yes, but I’m torn about Lina and Phil having full or joint custody. If she had a man that was good and ensured she took her antipsychotic meds and was good to Liam, then yes…joint custody. Because Lina has raised three kids and she needs to live a little. But if Kim continues to be a nut case then we need to go full custody with Lina and Phil. But they do need someone to help with childcare so Lina can continue to work and Phil needs to plan special weekends she enjoys!

  46. Oh he would wear them, he thought the movie was stupid, but it would make both Logan and Lina Happy, so Yes.

    Love the scenario………that could happen. There is no telling what she did when he was sleeping, especially at SB. I thought about that too. I wondered if Phil might have saw Liam during the day after Kim went back to work! That why he wouldn’t have to see her and chance turning to stone! Ugh

    • Laura What is phil thinking when he’s driving to Kim’s house to see Liam if he does make that drive? I just can’t see him knocking on that door for someone to answer. Just driving that mile and knowing he has no control over where Kim lives…. he must be so furious each time

  47. Hi gang! That would be hands down Tracie. No doubt she will have a paragraph of a steamy scene to go with the pjs…Easy peasy answer for me. Yes, without even one blink. I would think he may even wear an elf speedo if Lina asked today.
    Ok, I have a crazy what if for the reason Phil paid a visit to Kim’s house. What if Kim put a tracker oh Phil’s phone? I don’t know how she accomplished that since I don’t know how to do this myself but let’s say she was with Phil one night when Lina texted him and she saw his passcode and somehow linked his phone to hers? Anyway, maybe Phil and Lina get that one weekend getaway Tracie keeps on hoping for and Kim somehow knows they are away alone without the kiddos. She sends Phil a text knowing Lina is now privy to all their texts. “Do you still have that tie I gave you? I still remember when you won the case wearing what I picked out for you and what we did with it before we left NY.” Of course the last part was a lie but it’ll once again create a discord with Phil and Lina which is exactly what the devil wants. Oh, which reminds me
    who picks up/drops off Liam? I hope it’s the nanny.

  48. Question of the day or weekend — Lina bought Phil a pair of elf pjs to wear on Christmas morning. Do you think he’ll wear them for her? Let’s see who knows Phil the best.

    • As much as Phil loves Lina I can’t see him wearing elf pj’s out of the bedroom. In bedroom, just for her, yes.

      • Hi Deighj I meant to reply and then got sidetracked. We know each other from goodreads! I liked your post and you were kind enough let me know Laura had Swimming Naked in the works. I hope you post more here. God knows Tracie needs more views on her scenarios!

        • Hi Janet, sorry I didn’t recognize your name. By the time I received your email I had, through seer determination, put WPF and my obsession away. That was a very hard habit to break after spending six months beating up Laura with questions and scenarios. She was in the midst of writing another book and I kept pulling her back to WPF. The guilt finally got to me.

          • No. Don’t feel guilty. I’ll eventually return to the other stories. A White Picket Fence had to be finished.

          • She’s right Deighj don’t feel guilty, but if you know something me and Janet don’t you can tell us!!! LOL

        • Janet, just a heads up, I have always been team Phil even when I was angriest. In reading your posts I can see you beginning to soften towards him as well. So Laura and Tracie may I join your team?

          • Ugh! Fine!! Lol. I just like Nick as much as Phil. I’m hormonal this week so I’m just after Kim. You can lead us in this team discussion since Tracie and I tend to go off on imaginary dialogues as you can tell

  49. Janet, Phil wasn’t reading her he was having sex with her. Plus, she was probably a very competent attorney. He didn’t know he had Psychotic Barbie, until she went Edward Scissor Hands on his neck!

      • I guarantee Kim was good at hiding her inner self. It’s like Laura said she was smart and interesting. But now that he has Lina back in his life and arms (my opinion only) he’ll fight the devil himself before he betrays her again or let’s her go. That his woman….

        • But remember Janet, while he was doing Kim, Lina was discussing her life problems with Nick and Laura says it will be addressed in SN, but Phil was probably furious with himself over the fact Nick was having a weekly session with his wife and they were discussing his family and her feelings.

  50. Lina didn’t answer the phone because, it was on the charger in the room and Phil wouldn’t have known she was gone until he got home and tried to find her. In my scenario, she goes down and has dinner alone, then goes to the bar for a drink before turning in for the night. She’s bummed and disappointed! Tired of all the drama in her life. Then the hunkster sees a beauty and goes trolling! LOL. No Kim is somewhere Baltimore, home, bar ditch bleeding out! Who cares….Phil’s worried about Lina getting to her limit, he’s got to go wrap and tangle his woman!

    Also, glad you don’t think Phil gave too much info to Kim at the bar. But yes I could see Nick on a motorcycle, but my Phil has a Beamer, with a stick shift! I rode motorcycles my whole life, use to love them until I hit 50 and looked how close my ankle was to the pavement rolling at 60 miles per hour. I was a tomboy….my last bike was a Honda CB200 and laid that baby on its side, because a car pulled out in front of me. Road rash and the gearshift went through the crank case cover and hot oil burned me until I could get the bike of me! So I’m going in the Beamer!

      • That was several years ago J-Girl. Since then I’ve wrecked a 4-wheeler and one of those little foreign scooters LoL. My husband said you are done….He got me a modified golf cart for the pasture! LOL. My grandkids and their friends hang out with us all the time. It’s fun they keep me young, I love family!

        • You are hilarious, fun, kooky, and just a cool broad overall. Who talks and acts like you? Not many- you are 24ct!

      • I don’t know about cool, but sore! I was very sore after each incident. My husband asked me, Babe who rides a scooter with street tires in a pasture? He did the RCA dog tilt and said you going to answer me….I said oh I thought you were going to ask for a show of hands….He said I give up! Then he came home with the golf cart.

        • Janet’s right, you’re going to end up in one of my books. You’re starting to sound like one of the heroines in a Judith McNaught novel.

        • I don’t know about heroines, but I have got myself into some stuff in my lifetime. This goes along with the book (we’ll kind of), we had some high profile visitors at work, and I was on the bus with upper management talking about why they should partner with us to do the work…..well we had walked all day and I had on steel toe boots (we were in an industrial environment), we were climbing steps to enter the building, well my boot just clipped the top step and I went to doing that awkward swimming motion thing trying to regain my balance and face planted right in one of the visitors crouch, grabbing his hips on the way to my knees. That’s right! I did the only thing I could in that moment and tilted my head back and looked up at him and said “Sir this should prove just have far we’ll go to obtain your business.” He threw his head back and laughed. That so happened…LOL!

          • I’m
            Crying. Crying. Stop. Continue. I need to
            Share that one with someone with your permission.

          • See, you made Laura cry! You made your favorite author cry Tracie. Take a moment of silence. I’m lying on my bed and my body was shacking from laughing so hard

          • Girls I’m glad you enjoyed my mortification, I could actually hear my heartbeat in my ears. The visitor helped me up and said young lady (at the time), I think after that we would love to partner with this facility. Whew…..that was a pivotal moment in my career! Lol. If that made my favorite twosome cry in laughter than I’m happy!

          • Tracie — you are a trip! Your messages make me laugh and smile every day. My best friend is leaving today to go on a four to five month (off the grid) backcountry hike — she’s my “go to” friend and always my first reader which will make this especially hard — I would go with her but I have to finish this book — plus I like to shower, sleep in a bed and have an a/c — not much of a fan of roughing it. Anyway, I’m happy that I have your stories to keep me smiling.

          • Tracie, you are just too funny. Did upper management suggest you continue wearing steel toes for all future marketing partners? Perhaps you and Janet should consider taking this show on the road.

          • Hi Deighj, Nice to have you joining the conversation! Tracie/Janet — Deighj is a very nice lady that I’ve had many email exchanges with regarding WPF and eventually life LOL. I’ll let her speak for herself, if she chooses, but I think she falls somewhere between the two of you in the Phil fan club.

          • Laura, you need Tracie’s humor and story everyday now that your BFF aka team Nick is off the grid for five months!! Lord, it’s so hot here. I hope she goes somewhere cool. I personally don’t know anyone who actually goes on a hike more than an hour let alone for five months so I don’t pretend to understand this crazy notion. Godspeed.

          • Laura I’m just happy I make you smile! You are a sweet lady. My daughters friend quit her job and went with another girl on one of those long back woods hikes (Appalachian Trail) I think that was it! But I’m like you, Mr. Ed is meant to sleep in a barn, if I’m not in my own bed, I’m sleeping somewhere associated with the Hilton’s!

          • Hi Deighj, welcome to the conversation sugar. I’m telling you now if me and Janet went on the road, we would probably end up in jail. Upper management didn’t say much, mostly laughed and I mean laughed a lot! But I did inform them, after the visitors got off the bus, that my net pay should reflect my skill level! LOL!

        • Forget a historical novel, you two deserve a show. I mean….my tummy is sore from laughing too much. Scooter with street tires then replace it with golf cart. Omg! Make sure you include one story about your family each day here. Please! Laura is dying too I know reading this.

  51. I love it! Two stupid questions though. She doesn’t answer Phil’s call bc she’s annoyed? Also Phil is worried Kim is near Lina? Anyway I know you really want the lightbulb moment but phil is such a meathead(sorry!) I don’t think any other thought beyond I’m going to crush this man would cross his mind. I just can’t see him saying much to Kim at the bar other than why is she mad at me? Then drink his scotch then say why. More like he was talking out loud to himself but Kim was there to see his weak moment and swooped in. What I would really like to know is if he noticed Kim before this. Laura hinted no. How come phil can read people so well but got Kim so wrong? Lastly just imo for Nick but I can see him on a motorcycle with Kathy but not tightass phil with Lina on the backseat. He probably will wrap her up like the michelin man. What a control freak!

      • Kinda Incase you give nick a story in the future. Lol. In Nicks defense I don’t think Tony can fix a broken toilet either. You just wrote him too well is all. Did you describe Nick as having panther like grace? When he subdued Phil with that grace and said he was 5th degree black belt I literally whooped with delight. It was a fanning moment for me.

        • Touché Janet. I did love Nick too. You win the battle. Tony would need a handyman. Phil doesn’t exactly remember the fight the way we do — lucky break on the good doctor’s part.

  52. Janet I have a outfield scenario since Laura’s revelations today. Okay, Phil and Lina just need a weekend away, Kim is putting stress on them, just a weekend to regroup. So Kim pulls something who knows what and their plans have to be rescheduled. Maybe someone at Phil’s law firm is still friends with Kim and gives her info on Phil’s schedule, that he’ll be leaving early on Friday. I wonder if he would tell Kim if he was out of town? Sooo Lina cancels, but reschedules for another weekend when they don’t have Liam and Phil can get away early. Well Kim finds an excuse to have Liam stay with them, work or whatever. Phil calls Lina and says Baby im sorry but, blah blah and he’ll make it up to her….Lina just says Okay Phil. But Lina needs the break and tired of Kim’s interference, so Lina goes on her own, just needing the space. Phil comes home and finds his bag on the bed, but hers is gone. She won’t answer his phone call. He calls Adele and she tells him he’s an idiot and he needs to put his foot down with Kim, she’s not working anyway. We can say Adele stalked her Facebook and her and Hannibal are out to dinner in Baltimore. Then she tells Phil she went to the beach bungalow whatever. So Phil either stalks Kim down or asked Adele to watch Liam and stay with Logan. Phil hightails it down to where Lina is and……he finds her at the bar in a gorgeous dress (sexy) having a drink with a handsome movie star type man hunk! He has a flashback “I talked and she Listened”! Lightbulb comes on and then Laura can take us to Hotsville!

  53. Listen I can’t find my dang glasses, can’t find the iPad, my mind works faster than fingers and no telling what I’m rolling out with this mini phone! Ugh ?

  54. Janet, the swapping receipes was sarcasm. She wouldn’t cook. But she strikes me as the type that would smile daggers when trying to get a point across. She said Swimming Naked is several months past the ending of AWPF, which Is more than two. I can see her waltzing into the realty company Adele and Lina work for to sign papers before the holidays and make a production of Lina’s man fathering another child to humiliate her. I’m sure for Lina, Phil’s Office Christmas Party might have had a little humiliation sting too, so that’s fresh.. Kim could of overheard Adele and Lina at Liam’s party talking about going to the office to wrap something up before the holidays and times her visit at the same time. Lina leaves (after Kim) mortified and upset and then Adele calls Phil and lays into him.
    Susan would also be in town, her and Lina could be out and run into Kim, what better way to pull the son in, than through the mother. She may mention it to Susan in passing, who knows. But that’s what’s exciting……we don’t, but we will know the Naked Truth! Also, Lina kids better get her a double sided sandwich board she can wear for Christmas made out of butcher block, bc that cray cray ? probably got a good set of Chicago Cutlery for Christmas LOL!

      • Also, just for my warm fuzzy tell me that Phil didn’t tell Kim about him andLina being back together. I can’t see him …now….telling her anything about Lina. The I talked, she listened still bothers me.

          • Ok my spun is slowly spinning out, but Lord help me, if Phil is running over to that house all hours of the night. I bet she has a manufactured excuse for pulling him away on Christmas Eve! His family would be so disappointed. He needs to strangle her before 10:00 family mass!

  55. Kim cooks?!? She probably ordered breast milk off the internet if it didn’t seem beneath her no? Finding out about the move is spot on but didn’t Kim move before Liam turned one? Did Laura say she starts the SN with Liam’s birthday? Ooh maybe Kim and Lina bumped into each other while jogging(planned by Kim) and Kim told Lina what Phil and Kim used to do in nyc. Something like do you want to know what we did right before the(any one of our or the 4) picture was taken? I think when we are close to something Laura says interesting… in the sequel.. like the tie! I’m probably way off again. Lol. But I hope Lina uses it to choke Kim with it.

    • Not bad. Not bad at all! I should have thought of the jogging – I like it. Okay – in the opening few pages you learn that Kim called the Hunter household so often with Liam issues (manufactured) that they had to discontinue their home phone. Her access to Phil is now only via his cellphone. You also learn that she has moved to their neighborhood – so no big unveil. Nice theories though

      • I knew that Kim would do that….he has kids still in school and that dang phone ring all hours, oh I’m spun up now! Now she just keeps Phil and Lina up all hours of the damn night. Ohhhh that brings up Phil’s passcode again, Lina better know it or his next passcode would be the date of his death! Love you Phil!!! I’m just saying……

      • oooooh I liked that so much. She’s desperate and starting to lose a few screws. Not attractive. Phil is so grossed out by her. Hope you have permanent stretch marks on your boobs Kim and your dermatologist botches up the laser treatment so you can never wear a low cut top. Ever.
        I hope only you and Tracie read my comments. I have lost it!

          • A man as in human or blowup? Yes, I hope she leaves Liam with Lina and walks off, because her new man doesn’t want to raise another man’s kid. Is Hannibal Hector still in jail?

          • oh totally about uranus size hemorrhoids. Lord, we are your sister’s comic relief. waaaahh. I’m sure someone who has bad farsightedness will find her beautiful. Or very nearsighted. You know what I mean. And one more. Doesn’t your hair fall out in chunks about a year after giving birth? Again, very attractive to a farsighted guy!

          • Hi Laura’s sister! Remember sweetie those so much knowledge shared here it’s almost a burden! LOL

            P.S. Your sister is precious and talented.

          • Hey even Charles Manson got engaged! There’s hope for her…..

            No stand up, but I was voted way back in the day by my senior class “Most Humorous”. Of my senior class. No I wasn’t home schooled, there was about 200 of us LOL!

            I’m the lead in our office and two of my team are females just exactly like me, and we are one year apart in age and we have a ball, but we get the job done!

  56. I’ve pondered and I just wonder if this is where Kim gifts Lina with the knowledge of who her new neighbor is going be and may be wants to swap recipes with Lina for the neighbor block party?

    I’m assuming Kim’s sister is at her apartment or Phil drove to where ever Kim may have slithered for the holidays.

    • or maybe Lina learns on her own or Adele tells her. They both work for a realty company. Phil is going to Launch ? when he finds out about that house. Laura already told us about the house so I just thought it was a possibility, since it wouldn’t compromise Swimming Naked!

  57. Cool!! I would love to see the finished project! Mines more of a remodel for a quick flip so less headache and tbh I want to see if my sister and I can even work together.
    I think for Kim we have to up the ante. I think what you just described is something a normal woman might do if she got mad. Kim is more devious and wants to breakdown Lina so something less obvious but more hurtful. Keying Lina’s car is petty and a hassle but would it raise Phil’s hackles like that? This devil either played with her psyche by saying something about Phil or Liam or sent her something(I still like this one). something hand delivered by Fedex again. Lol
    Laura now I’m thinking about the ending. Do you know already or are you letting it unfold as you write? How would they coexist with one another unless Kim finds someone else? Seriously how much more can Lina take?

    • Maybe it will go well and the two of you can have your own show on HGTV. I don’t think I could work with any of my siblings — we all want to be the one in charge — one of the reasons I can’t even share my book with them until they are in print — not entirely true, I do have one sister who just listens and complements (I had to mention that because I think she reads this blog LOL).

      You’re right, Kim wouldn’t resort to throwing things or keying cars. She’s more of a planner.
      I think I know how the novel will end. I hope I do, anyway, because I like the ending I have planned.

      • For Phil to scare Kim’s sister with his temper, it had to be something that hit Lina hard! Okay, Kim wouldn’t do anything like taking of her earrings for a slug fest or keying her car, but she would confront Lina, just like the hallway scene that was edited out in the book. I’m also wondering if the day after Liam’s birthday is significant or the traditional family Christmas Eve is a trigger. I’ve got to ponder on this for a bit!

  58. So many posts I missed tonight. Thinking here.. I’m getting the kids ready for back to school in a few weeks and my sister and I are in the beginning stages of flipping our first condo purchase so yada yada tedious real life. I loved reading about both of your families here. Laura you are the brady bunch! Aha about Tracie and her son! I sorta thought she had a personal stake in how Liam and Logan would fare in the Swimming Naked(SN now. for real now). The best news is you are 1/3 done with the novel!! I’m so happy to hear both Tracie and I are far off the mark. I mean we couldn’t even figure out the title when it was right there word for word. LOL. I want to be clutching my kindle with gasps and hopefully not too many curses while clutching my head come December.

    • Hi Janet, my husband is a general contractor and carpenter by trade and we are in the process of completely gutting the original farmhouse that was on our property. We have flipped a few and survived building a couple too. LOL! My kids are great, fixing to ship my granddaughter off to college, she got a basketball scholarship so we are busy too! You were exactly correct on my feelings about Logan. My son is sensitive too and there was some pretty raw moments combining our families. But he would now fight a circular saw for her,if he had too. Loves and adores his sister and his wife does too! It was the bond you were talking about that would happen between Logan and Liam. We were off the mark, but now J-Girl, I’m wondering if Lina may have gone to get some asparagus for their traditional meal on Christmas Eve and Kim may have fastballed that can of cranberry sauce into the back of her head or Lina came out to her Mercedes SUV in the parking lot and it had been keyed and BITCH scratched into the hood! My mind is running a muck this morning Laura…LOL

      • That’s a nice skill to have in the family. I’m the type that has to rely on strangers to do any work in my house — I’ve always thought having a mechanic and carpenter in the family would be nice. All we have are men with un callused hands LOL — I’m sure you caught how handy Phil was around the house — that’s a fantasy of mine.

        • I’m fortunate to have him and my son is a firefighter/paramedic by trade, but he can do anything construction/mechanical just like his dad. So if my husband is not being the fantasy or hard headed my son jumps in and gets it done for me LOL!

  59. Goodnight Girls, thank you for talking with me tonight Laura, I really enjoyed it!

    I missed your comments tonight Janet.

  60. So cute! And you had a granddaughter in your 30s! I’m one of six and have lots and lots of nieces and nephews — Have most of the ages covered! Liam may steal your heart from Logan, so cute and the poor little guy has already seen his dad blow his temper a couple of times.

    • Just like in some of our books, my husbands ex walked off and left him and her son. I’ve raised him since he was 13 and he is now 41! I’m very fortunate to call him mine. He has an 18 year old girl and a 15 year old son. My daughter is 30 and she gave me an adorable 2 year old grandson and looking to give me a fourth grand baby soon.

      Logan will always have my heart, but there is room for Liam too! I knew he would be a cutie. I know my son had a hard time sharing his dad with my daughter at first, that’s why I’m a litte worried about Logan out of the gate. I want Phil to still take him to Ravens games , etc!

      • Unfortunately these book aren’t far fetched at all. It sounds like you have all the ages covered. Nice that you and your husband and children found each other. And I think Janet said she had twins! That’s cool too. I think Logan will be fine.

        • Thank you Laura, I worried about my Logan. I know Liam will be a doll, I just hate that he has a crazy mom. But he’s only a year old so thank goodness no memory of the bad times. The anxiety level of Wondering how you are going to contain that viper is almost too much!

    • I’m so hoping he favors Logan and Lina….I also hope like any child needing a mother’s touch that when he needs comfort he seeks Lina!

      Is Lina relieved that Liam looks like Phil and Logan? I know I would be!

    • I would love to have that many siblings, I have one older brother and my moms family is completely gone and no cousins on that side and my dad family is gone too, except for a few scattered cousins in California.

        • Keep climbing that ladder sister. I believe in upward mobility LOL!

          My daughter will look at this blog and say mama I can’t believe you said that and my son will say I can leave her alone! Lol. My son-in-law (dry sense of humor), said I wish you were a pervert like you Mom! Dead silence in the house and then we all just busted laughing. My husband was a single dad with a 13 year old son and I was a single mom with a 3 year old when we got married, so if you need any toddler/teenager antics let me know I have plenty. My granddaughter is 18 and her Mimi’s biggest fan. She tweeted the other night: I’m serious my Mimi just said she blogged!

        • bahaha. I know Tracie wants incendiary. I’m on the fence for now since I don’t know if Phil should be rewarded this way.

  61. I just read Chapter 30 to see what Lina said to Phil regarding Steamboat and I literally got anxiety. My Phil was so mean….ugh….Also, When Phil left the house heading to Megan, did he reflect on how the color drained from his son’s face, the disappointment in Katie’s words and how harsh his words were to Lina?

      • Laura has commented before his personality wouldn’t allow otherwise, she chose Nick over him and that was Alpha overload. It is just like the Scotch scene, his life is out of control and he is use to being in control. Just like in Swimming Naked, he can’t control that Nick was in love with Lina. Totally screws with his head, because he can’t dominate the feelings Nick had for Lina. That is his woman….

        • Right to everything but I meant why justified? Oh never mind. I can’t even explain myself. I guess I’m trying to say I’m hoping a tiny bit of it somehow ties to steamboat and that’s all for Laura to answer my why why’s. Also we should zip it about the spoiler today just Incase we got the answer right. We can hope.
          Tracie, you are from OK? I knew Laura lives in DC/MD area from her bio. I always wondered where you get your “hoot and holler” comments. I too hate the water. The irony is I live couple miles away from Santa Monica beach. Did go to school in VA wins ago so I do know a bit of where Laura’s books take place. My monthly excursion to Tyson’s Corner kept me sane!!

          • You girls haven’t gotten anything right, although if you had I wouldn’t tell you so maybe you did. I knew you were from the south Tracie! I just had a feeling — down to earth funny! And based on time zone difference I knew Janet was from the West Coast. My mom grew up in California and hated the water too.

          • I get your justified comment, remember when Phil said your not going into his house, you are still my wife? Well she went in and he imagined her doing the deed all night. My opinion, with his personality, that is all the justification he needed. Yes I was born and raised in Oklahoma. I have family in San Diego been there several times. My husband he is just the opposite, tans beautiful, anything outdoors. He is a scuba diver tried to get me all into it and I told him I have watched to many dang shows where those divers turn into an all you can eat shark buffet not happening!

          • LOL we may not have got it right, but we entertained ourselves LOL. Thank you Laura and yes I guess I’m really sound like I’m from the South when I’m in DC or VA. I’m always asked can you say Mississippi just one more time! LOL

      • I was starting to have a tiny bit of sympathy for Phil when Nick schooled him so effortlessly in front of Lina at his house…Nick was pretty darned masterful (Phil must have been mortified that Lina saw that, hehe); but then my sympathy vanished when he was such an a-hole to her in chapter 30. SHE broke his heart? Really?

    • Complete overload. He knows his actions destroyed his family. He’s in shock! He’s afraid Nick is getting Lina and he knows he devastated his children and they will never see him the same again.

      • Do you think another thing that bothered Phil was the fact, that Nick was a gorgeous man and had the ability to support Lina as good or better than what he did?

        • That couldn’t have helped but remember in the beginning — Chapter 1 (to Lina) “I’ll fix her door, but in return, I’d like to go a day without discussing Katie or Dr. Drayton.” Chapter 3 (to Katie) “I. Don’t. Care. This is not Dr. Drayton’s House.” (and to Lina) “No! No more Dr. Drayton! Can we go one fucking evening without his name coming out of your mouth.”
          Phil resented Nick before he knew he even had a thing for Lina. This is a man used to taking care of his family and his wife is acting like another man’s word is God.

          • Oh yes that would blow my Alpha right out of the water! Do you think Phil was a little mad at himself after that first visit with Nick? That he thought Ive been so rapped up in my own selfish pleasure, I didn’t see another man trying to take my wife?

      • Was Phil afraid the entire separation period that Nick would get Laura? In Swimming Naked is their retirement plans ever discussed, like in the first book? I ask because when Nick talked with Lina about hiking and a husband should also consider what makes his wife happy, not everything about competition. I wonder if Phil will consider more of what makes Lina happy, than himself.

    • Yes ma’am! Sí! Oui! And she needed to have upped her game since the first present didn’t work. I’m thinking what we discussed previously or maybe more incrimmating pics, even a recording of a convo. Endless possibilities for Kim!
      Also I asked about naked pic bc the keyword is normally. Did they fly out to steamboat together? It’s far fetched but not easy way out. I mean Linas pic is right there! Phil can’t avoid that

  62. Girls, is she a locksmith???? How is she getting in all these places…plus in the scene at his brothers house after surgery, Lina said you took her to Steamboat!!! he said I know why…you don’t have to remind me.

  63. She did something that’s for sure. God I hope all this screaming the house down will make Kim see some level of reason. Anyway, Laura do you know why I asked you the sleeping naked question? I’ll stop there and leave it at that. No easy way out but maybe I was too hasty in calling him a selfish bleep.

  64. Christmas Eve is big at the Hunter’s, it is their immediate family Christmas together…you commented that you had wrote a Christmas scene and it was nice to have them all together again…..So whatever has got Phil ready to kill Kim will at least be put on the back burner Christmas Day (I assume when both Lina and Phil’s families are there)….Based on the birthday party being the day before, depending on whether is was a group event or not..Kim’s jealousy could of been pegged on seeing Phil with Lina and not her for Liam’s first birthday or even imagining him with his wife and kids for the holidays (Kim thinks that should be her)…She purposely set out to ruin their family Christmas Eve…now how girls?

  65. I love naked truth! Perhaps Laura will use it as the title for the trilogy!!
    Ooohhh. You need to calm the f down! Wow! Go Phil!!! Give it to her!
    Laura your comment to my post got me thinking. Let me ask you this. Does Phil normally sleep naked? The nights he and Lina don’t have sex? Also, the day after the texts came out Phil called Lina to let her know he wouldn’t be till 10pm. He said it was work related? Was Kim present at the meeting?

      • Gives me another TLC moment, Phil could wake up to Lina doing some morning aerobics on his mat….LOL

        I’m just saying Janet…you ask the naked question.

    • Oh I bet he sleeps naked…God I hope she wasn’t still there…remember Phil called and threatened to slap her with a restraining order, so maybe she was gone! That call was another pivotal moment for me as well, she wasn’t jealous or upset that he was working late. She didn’t even question him. That just makes me think Lina won’t be a complete Stage 5 Clinger in Swimming Naked. However, Phil did like the possessive side of her at the Lacrosse field.

    • I’m assuming again, since she was mesmerized by Phil in New York. I was suppose to be in Crystal City for a training session next week…but it was cancelled…When you only have one stop light going to work, that traffic brings the worst out in me….LOL

      • She went to Columbia, so stayed in New York City. Oh my gosh! One traffic light? I pass two just getting out of my neighborhood. Crystal City is where Casey and Tony returned that lost dog in a Sense of Belonging (at least it was initially)

        • I remember now….yes one stop light. We live in the country on 40 acres, and a highway runs through our town so one stop light….I’ve been around and in DC a lot in my career, but mostly Richmond, Alexandria and Arlington.

          • Sounds like heaven! With the exception of a few years in Florida and Hawaii, I’ve always live in and around DC.

          • You really are a beach person….not me…the only place you’ve ever seen legs whiter than mine is at your local grocery story in the poultry section….LOL Except for a few years in Louisiana, I’ve always lived in Oklahoma.

  66. oh oh oh…..I have two or three different theories but I don’t want to touch on one that could be right. Geez, I hope Lina doesn’t receive a Christmas card by FEDEX. But he is spun up this is going to be bad for her…..

  67. WARNING…Here is Kim’s sister meeting Phil for the first time…

    “I don’t know what she did, but you need to calm the fuck down because you’re scaring the shit out of me. You’re Phil, right?” she asked.
    “This isn’t a social call.” (Phil)

  68. Janet since the sequel has been named, we need to change our mantra, Swimming Naked is the Naked Truth!!!! Oh tell me your not in love with that….

  69. Laura, I just want to apologize for not asking your thoughts prior to throwing out Think Questions, Snippets or Scenario’s. It is just my wild imagination running a muck and I wouldn’t want to impede your work. I once heard a saying “Too much agreement kills a chat.” I think the old snippet ensured we will all keep chatting LOL…

  70. Will Logan shed tears in Swimming Naked? I’m just wondering if there will be a scene between Phil and Logan, that makes Phil feel raw….

  71. Girls, I’m going light today…will Knight (the dog) still get to bunk in the same room with Lina, since Phil is back?

  72. The Ambien would ensure a longer date with the Sandman Man…LOL

    Laura says we’re are moving to happier times, which means Kim bashing for most…LOL I have some things to do this morning, but will check back later.

  73. Oh my J-Girl having an opinion is not a betrayal, I can see and feel everything you just said. Phil said it best in Chapter 43, we were happy we had one bad year, but that can’t erase the two and half decades of memories.

    • Girls I just wanted to say goodnight and leave a thought for you to ponder on from Team Phil:

      Swimming Naked means having enough trust in the person telling you to Jump and not worrying if the water is deep enough…

      P.S. If my daughter reads that comment, she’ll think her dad is growing pot instead of tomatoes! LOL

      • LOL. I may need an ambien tonight to fully appreciate your words of wisdom but thank you for the scenarios today. You still made me laugh!

  74. Laura I feel like I called your husband/
    Partner a dimwit and have betrayed Tracie! I’m swaying like a pendulum taking sides but it just doesn’t sound like Phil. Maybe you do have to go with temporary insanity on steamboat! You will get us to see reason. That much I believe. Either that or it’s not too late to make an appt with a hypnotist to change your mind.

  75. Hmm. Here are my thoughts now that I’m semi rational again. Take the full hit yes and no crazy easy outs yes again because we saw the evidence. No denying it there. But there has to be an explaination. Here is a man who has always loved his wife and no one else. He never stopped wanting her. He takes her calls in the middle of the night when she has one of her nightmares. Even when he was in NY with Kim and the “sex train” was on full force he still called to check up on his family. Their names are written in the stars and what have you. He never gave the mistress anything nor held real affection for her. Then boom he takes kim to his wife’s favorite place which is also their home? Everything else seems like an impulsive action on Phil’s part except for this premeditated act. At the very least they had to have planned this get away with a reasonable lie Lina believed. And Tracie to add to your snippet when Lina is mad when Phil pushes the paper to sign and she says we can’t take the grandkids there anymore what will Phil’s response be? Sorry Lina I had sex on the brain so I wasn’t thinking and forgot this was your favorite place? I’m at a loss here. Why not take Kim somewhere else? He can’t be that dimwitted nor that selfish. I don’t know! And if this is true how can I hate Kim as much when her only true fault was pursuing a married man and not giving up easily? And now I kinda sound like Rachel. Ha and gah! When I was reading a white picket fence I felt like Phil always wanted to say more about steamboat but Lina would interrupt or they would drop the conversation all together. I do have a few theories like the running group one but of course Kim is the behind both of the incidents. Hmmmm again. Thinking thinking not mad but rethinking about Phil and Kim.

    • All I will say (because I don’t want to ruin the sequel) is that I still believe you will be team Phil in the end.

      • Also I don’t think Kim is a redeemable character. Not only did she have an affair with a married man, she conspired to hurt Lina on her birthday. Even if Phil was a first class jerk and promised her the world (which he didn’t) I see no way to justify her behavior towards Lina.

        • There is no way to justify her behavior…..Phil is going to rise from the ashes and he’ll ensure that Lina and his kids are surround with a hedge of protection!

    • You know what else I’m thinking, who is he shedding those tears for and with….Swimming Naked makes you vulnerable….sigh!

  76. Good points Tracie! I think we know that he sometimes (not necessarily always) was the pursuer based on Chapter 22. Kim only sent the texts she chose to send. And if it makes Janet feel any better Phil shed a few tears today. Ugh looking forward to happier times!

    • That’s even better Laura on the texts messages pursuer situation. Tears cleanse the sole and he is sorry no doubt in my mind! I know you will bring them through to the other side. Did you finish the Scotch scene?

    • His puruit of Kim in some of those texts, and him ditching his runs with Megan to run with Kim definitely added to my bitterness toward Phil. Unless his brain was hijacked by aliens, he had no justification!!! How could he justify to himself choosing to spend quality time with Kim instead of his daughter??

  77. Laura, this would have to be your curve ball, because I can’t see a way out for Phil. Swimming Naked is him open and raw and this is like a major Glenlivet moment for him…This is one where Phil may have to just suck it up and take one for the team…

      • Janet, we know that Phil was pursued relentlessly by Kim. We also know by Lina’s words in Chapter 22 that Phil was the pursuer after he gave into Kim’s advances. My opinion only he took her to Steamboat with no thought to anyone, except for his own selfish flesh! How can he be redeemed if he wasn’t at fault? Phil will have to face his children with the truth about the condo. Logan already knows and probably wouldn’t step foot back in the place anyway. That condo is just that a condo! My snippet was my pound of flesh for Lina. Phil said he would regret how he hurt Lina every day for the rest of his life. To me, if he had no remorse then I would say kick him to the curb, but that’s not the case with Phil. He’s owning it and trying to make it right! I guarantee no body knows their own shortcomings better, than the one that is suffering from them. Kim is acting evil, because she read more into the relationship than what was truly there.

  78. Laura…we just lost a little ground with J-Girl (Janet), the temporary insanity comment was too much for her!!!! Tell her you didn’t mean it!!! That Jack-in-the-Box response scared me and she’ll be back….LOL LOL

      • I hope so
        Too! I
        Know everyone makes mistakes, but this is such a deal breaker,
        Phil needs to to pull it out of the bag for ya!

  79. OMG. I literally pulled over to the side. This site is making me hysterical! I need a life. Did Phil lead Kim on a bit then? Does she have reasons to become so bitter and act evil. Yes don’t pursue a married man but geez Louise what is going on here? Will chk back later.

  80. You know you kill me right???? LOL LOL…Laura’s wrapping Steamboat up in the sequel. I read a comment (I think Laura), where Laura said her intention in the first book, would have been to sell the condo???? I also think…ugh…we’ve talked so much (but I love it) that Phil would have to take the full hit on Steamboat??? Set me straight Laura….if I’m too far outfield…I think that is what I remember from our conversations.

  81. Gah gah gah! I’ve avoided this one. Didn’t Laura say she sold the house before it was edited out? I too have imagined similar scene but in Swimming Naked(yeah!) I’m really hoping there was a good reason Phil and Kim were there together. More than meets the eye. Isn’t this out of character for Phil? I think the home has to go regardless but I just can’t see him intentionally taking Kim there. If Laura says she will explain what happened in Swimming Naked(yeah! Yeah!)then there’s way more than what the picture conveyed. Please please. Anyway I’m hoping it’s a mystery solved where my le creuset cast iron stays intact. Lordy!!

  82. I have a snippet (not a scene or scenario) Warning Janet: “Steamboat” I think it was Chapter 28, when Lina told Nick…Steamboat was her favorite place and she watched her kids learn to ski there and she wanted to watch her grand kids learn to ski there too:

    Snippet….Phil slides the papers across his desk (home office) for her to sign for the sell of their Steamboat Condo (assuming the condo was in both their names). Lina signs and while looking down says “You know Steamboat was my favorite place.” Phil says “Lina?”..then she raises her eyes to his and says “We watched our kids learn to ski there and I wanted to watch our grand kids learn to ski there as well, but know its all gone.” Then Lina slides the papers across to Phil and walks out….WOW talk about a Scotch Moment…

    Just fun thinking…I’m about out of questions…LOL

  83. Tracie, did you say you work with psychopaths? If so thank god for your lively spirit to lighten up the atmosphere.
    Regarding shower scene I don’t know why bedroom scenes don’t bother me as much. Maybe because I can see in the text Kim trying to seduce Phil with those words and he went for it. Like nothing was sacred between phil and Lina other than locking eyes with their connection. Thats why kim thought she had the upper hand. She did consume(your word) most of his time at least. Also isn’t it when he leaves Lina for the night so he can be with Kim? You know she has nightmares without you but you forgot and wanted a shower with the skank? Can’t fact check but even another year from now I’m gonna see dates and times in my head.

    • Maybe Lina wants/needs the shower scene for a new memory. They won’t be able to make a future, if Lina is constantly looking in the rear view mirror, instead of looking forward through the windshield.

      I don’t actually work with psychopaths, a few have lead me to believe they were…LOL..

  84. Ohhhh yes….Matt loves Katie…he also sees in Lina what he never had and probably always wanted in a mother. How disgusted would Lina be thinking Kim noticed her daughters boyfriend, after sleeping with her husband. That would probably even make Phil Puke..Ewwwww

    Laura if you are on vacation, we don’t want to disturb you in relax mode…even though it didn’t work for Janet LOL..She had to check the blog!!!!

  85. Hi! Not home so hard to post thoughts but love the scenario where she strolls to the cranberry sauce isle to unsettle the kids. Maybe add Matt in there and Kim takes a swipe at Katie and say be careful you don’t lose him or some nonsense(because Katie takes after Lina physically). Then Kim looks at Logan and her eyes widen slightly due to uncanny resemblance to Phil and now Liam. Matt fumes with disgust for phil thinking what did he see in this anaconda?

    Laura, are you on vacation?

  86. Girls, I was participating in a meeting this morning (yuck..puke), and there was a human (barely) there that reminded me of Megan…so I don’t have an outfield think question for the week, but I do have an outfield scenario!!!!!! We know in the first few Chapters of the book that Megan is a highly intelligent/overachiever, pretty much a legend in her own mind. When she gives her graduation speech, Lina thinks how her confidence and eloquent speaking is just like Phil (She’s Phil’s Mini Me). Chapter 32, when Katie goes in to Logan’s room after he gets upset with Phil on the phone, Katie thinks to herself, I wish Megan was here now, she would have the right words and know what to say….

    Scenario: Hunter Kids (Only) out somewhere, maybe getting a can of cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving or Christmas shopping, Kim notices the kids and approaches them (we know Phil has pictures in his office). Don’t know the basics of the conversation (but Laura would), may be just an initial “Kim Land” fake meet and greet, Happy Holidays, etc…now is when Phil’s Mini Me steps up and in a 20 year old way humiliates Kim (remember Megan is eloquent), and informs her don’t care who you are, but I know my dad wouldn’t want you to ever approach my mom or his children, especially without him present….now get to kicking rocks…But when they arrive home…Logan or Katie would have to say guess what Megan did???? You know Megan would have to tell her dad all the finer points of the discussion, because she likes to talk about herself….Thus putting Megan back to center (a little)…since she took up for Lina and her siblings. Plus, Kim approaching Phil’s kids, major screw up on Kim’s part. Far fetched I know, but fun thinking….

    • InterestingTracie. We are still on the same wave length. Have you ever considered considered writing a novel? Swimming Naked only has the the POV of Phil and Lina.

      • Laura if I wrote it wouldn’t even be a short story, it would be a teeny tiny story. But thank you….My job requires a lot of scenario creating for training purposes.

  87. sorry I meant in her texts. Left my bifocals in the car so I’m typing with my cell a foot away from me and my fingers are stiff because I ran out of my glucosamine. what a visual.

    • I think Phil, even though charismatic and people are drawn to him, Phil would still feel out of sorts/sad knowing his wife isn’t there with him. His professional reputation (especially by the other partners) may have a little black mark by his name. The partner hens would talk, since the wedding was still fresh in their minds and Kim’s departure. I’m wondering if maybe Wayne did talk with Phil about office fraternization and the embarrassment the firm was subjected to at the wedding. Remember the girl power element, the ones that really liked Lina may have been stiff with Phil, verses friendly. The text messages were over a year old….Kim had showered sex with Phil, but they also had bed sex too..he needs to ensure those memories are burned from Lina’s mind. Because if they can’t have shower sex, then they can’t have bed sex. It all boils down to Lina living in the moment with Phil (reconnecting), not remembering what he did with the witch. Remember physical not emotional with Kim.

    • I know what you mean girl, my comments make better sense and less grammatical errors when I’m on my desk top verses my phone. I can see and the keys are big enough for my paws….LOL

  88. That’s right! I forgot they spent the party apart. We know Phil is very charismatic. We saw this at the wedding when he was surrounded by others laughing at the comments he made, we now know Kim was mesmerized the first time she saw him, and both men and women are drawn to him. He doesn’t care nor try, its innate. My guess is the women acted like Diane by giving him support and encouragement. Maybe some of the younger associates whispered behind his back but never to his face. Like Laura said before it’s crazy office gossip.
    Also Tracie, the possible shower scene you mentioned is wigging me out a bit because he might have done this with Kim(from her suggestion on the text). I realize it’s irrational of me to think this way but I don’t want any flashbacks(for me)of anything on that text to ruin the moment. I’m all for the hot tub and and ripping seams on the kitchen counter but the join me in the shower and wake me up with your tongue I need some time to heal first.

  89. im also excited to see how Kim finds out lIna and Phil are back together? I can see Phil wining and dining Lima and Kim walks up saying well isn’t this cozy! Either that or she moved close to his rental and Phil had already moved home! Or Lina could come with Phil to pick Liam up for a visit? I can’t wait!

  90. Janet, can you imagine How mad Kim would get if Phil saw Liam before he went to Lina’s for Christmas! Kim expect Phil to stay with her instead he leaves and says I’m going to have Christmas with my wife and kids. Call if you need anything and i’ll Check in on you!

    • I think 24th was all about Lina don’t you? And what the what? Call if you need anything and he’ll check on her?! That’s YOU projecting about a woman who just gave birth. Not your Phil. He would never encourage Kim to call him.

      • Yes!!!! You are exactly right…my Phil would be all about his wife and getting to her and the kids. Phil even wanted to stay another night with Lina, but she made him go home. So that tells me IF he did see Liam after he was born on the 23rd, he wasn’t anxious to get back to the hospital. I hope Kim had stretch marks…….LOL

  91. Girls, I’m breaking these questions up so they aren’t so long. Laura mentioned she wrote a scene at Phil’s office Christmas Party, this is where some humiliation has to hit Lina. I’m waiting to see here how much of a friend Diane really is to Lina. People are cruel….some may have been even jealous of their love and throw out pity or even mockery of their relationship?

  92. Girls, Did Susan and Phil get to meet Liam prior to going to Lina’s for Christmas? When he got to Lina’s house on the 24th he seemed light and happy is that because he had a new son, or because he was getting to spend Christmas with his wife and kids? He could of been both! I was wondering if that is why Susan begged Lina to take Phil back, she had met Kim?

    • No. Susan doesn’t meet her new grandson until the sequel. Phil is happy on Christmas Eve because he is about to spend over 24 hours with his family

  93. Girls, remember I think Chapter 2, how the partners wives were talking about how they could tell Lina and Phil were so in love by the way they looked at each other. Now how was Phil treated by those partners wives at Diane’s office Christmas Party, that Lina didn’t attend? What where his thoughts when the other partner’s were coupled with their wives and he stood alone?

  94. Dying here! Wrath of Phil!! I can feel bad for her. You would cry too knowing Phil can never be yours right?! But she hasn’t given up yet. Maybe few more crocodile tears before throwing in the towel imo

    • Kim almost took everything he holds dear and loves, he’s going into survival/protect mode! He took the blame for his actions and will be a dad to his son,, but that’s not enough, she wants to consume Phil in every way, not happening! But yes I would cry over him, but I wouldn’t destroy him! I would think of my son first and she just doesn’t have that in her!

  95. Is she crying because she shoulders the blame or because she doesn’t have Phil. I don’t want to have sympathy for her by humanizing her yet. I’m not ready Laura.

  96. I know God Love her, she’s precious… but in my defense LOL, she’s had anxiety over Phil and the scotch, so I’m having sympathy pains! When she posts something about kicking Kim, then I’ll jump emotion trains!

      • I bet those tears don’t work on Phil! He watched his wife break on more than one occasion from Kim spreading her venom through Lina. I actually expected videos sent next. After the pictures though, Phil would of found else what else she had and shut it down!

        • I thought same. After the pictures came out, I thought she may have filmed something to use it as her insurance policy to keep Lina out. It wasn’t just the pictures, remember the childish(garish) card she sent with it? God forgive me, I cannot forget nor forgive any of this.

          • Nor can Phil Janet, that is why Kim is having a bad day. Once he has Lina back in his arms, he’ll move heaven and earth to keep her there, his love for her is that deep.

          • That was mockery from the witch, looked what I did with your man…Happy Birthday……I want to punch her face……

  97. LOL. You got your opening love fest scene. Then you get the hot tub TLC and now you want a weekend beach getaway? That could be the epilogue. I want more of that spoiler Laura showed us. . I want drama with Kim interrupting their weekend away with a Liam dilemma! I want the Sturm und drang if you will, before the calm and your sweet. Oooh please let us have Laura’s realistic throwdown somewhere because God knows if left up to me, I would somehow weave in a telemundo segment

  98. i wish Lina and Phil could just BE for a few days. They have always got kids or family around them. I can see them going back to a beach for the weekend, where they first planned their life. I also see them on the beach in a comfy beach chair Lina in Phil’s lap, with a small beach fire, just soothing hurts and talking about their new future! Swoon!!!

  99. I’m also wondering about Phil and his scotch, knowing how much hurt and humiliation he has opened Lina too, I’m wondering when Kim moves in their neighborhood, if his gut is knott thinking how much more can Lina take????

      • Shouldn’t Lina at this point start helping him get that control back? I know Janet, let’s just play like Kim’s in a corner crying somewhere? I need to see tough girl at the wedding that said “The side of me that wasn’t scared, wasn’t lost, just buried.” Get to digging girl!

  100. Yes! You are right. That is totally Nick Tracie. He wouldn’t even acknowledge Kim. I just finished an old Anne Mather paperback in an hour in the car so I was in my moment.

    • Or if Kim extended her hand to Nick to shake and Nick looked at her hand and then her face and turned to Lina without shaking Kim’s hand! Like he wouldn’t even shake her hand, much less sleep with her! Another shot heard around the world!

        • I’m also wondering if Kim is going to be brazen enough to show up at public places where the Hunter’s are….like Lacrosse games, etc

        • But now you are going to tell me don’t do that….I wouldn’t want to see Phil put into the situation at this point. I think just seeing Nick is going to be enough to eat him up with jealousy!

  101. I doubt that would happen Janet, but it would be great! But that’s not his personality, he would probably size Kim up and look between her and Phil and then direct his attention toward Lina, now that would push Phil. That scrutinization for my Alpha Phil would imply that Nick just wiped Kim and Phil off the bottom of his shoe, like Phil wasn’t good enough for Lina, but he was! Talk about jealous fit!

  102. Diane’s character was a bit odd to me because she and Lina are supposed to be the same age but she spoke like she was a generation older(this could be Wayne’s influence). I viewed her more as an aunt type of figure who Lina looks to for advice than best friends.
    Ok gang, I have another what if scenario. So Kim isn’t intimidated by Adele’s go f yourself snarky attitude. How about if Nick comes in a scene where Phil, Lina, and Kim are all together(it could happen, no?) and he puts Kim in her place with a few words. Something like “you? your just run of the mill”. Insert Nick like comment there. Phil blows a gasket from jealousy and Kim’s taken down a notch. I’m really into this harlequin moment scenario. Hahahaha

    • No they aren’t the same age. Diane is older. Remember Wayne is Phil’s mentor. She annoyed me too at times

      • Me too, she bugged me sometimes…she couldn’t seem to put herself in Lina’s shoes for even a minute; I mean, Phil didn’t just have an affair, he had a baby with another woman!! She was way too pushy with Lina about taking Phil back

  103. What got me on the surgery scene was when Diane said “Oh you mean your estranged husband?” I wanted to smack her for that comment. How can she claim to be her best friend and be that petty????

    • I did not like Diane, she was very condescending and judgmental in my opinion. She was just like why aren’t you over it and forgiven your husband from pretty much the start! Her and Megan really annoyed me. They were so self righteous!

      • Totally agree with you here! Diane seemed almost oblivious, and Megan was immature because she was such a daddy’s girl and didn’t even seem to care about what her mom was going through

  104. The executive secretary types might be invited. It would probably depend on the office atmosphere, family oriented or more strict professional. The secretary hesitated to give Lina an answer, I think more out of surprise that Lina didn’t know he was having surgery. Laura did the office know Phil was separated or did he keep that discreet as well?

  105. I can’t see Phil’s secretary being invited do you? If so yes she got more than her eye full. Also when Lina called the office to ask where he is and his secretary told her it was his surgery day, I don’t remember her being kind to Lina? Did I read this bitty part wrong? Can’t remember.

  106. Morning Girls, I wondered that too…..I also wondered if Phil’s Secretary was at the wedding and had ensured she had a ring side seat to see how the drama would play out. Remember, Laura commented Phil’s secretary probably knew about the affair. I bet you couldn’t have driven a 10 penny nail in Phil’s butt during that wedding…he had to be tense…LOL….

    • Hi Ladies! Currently sitting on the beach. Too bright to read these comments. I’ll check back tonight and answer the questions. Poor Phil is stuck with his scotch waiting for me to take him to a better place

      • Poor Phil is right…have my girl Lina come rescue her man….I hope she tells him she loves him more in the sequel, he’s going to need those words to forgive himself….Talk to you tonight…use sunscreen….

  107. So funny. Tracies all about can you make the love scenes hotter and I’m all about can you have Phil roar at Kim louder? I asked the casting question after Tracie told us she channels her inner Raquel Welch. I would NEVER ask you to cast phil. I couldn’t do that and have myself be turned off by him. I remember reading a casting inverview with Sylvia day’s Crossfire couple being grossed out. Lol Gideon was Henry Cavill and Eva was Scarlett Johansson. So odd. Here’s my only question of the day to you Laura. At the wedding after Lina and Phil sit down and Phil points out Kim, Kim turns around and locks eyes with Lina then dismisses her to look at phil longer and this goes back and forth for a few seconds. I know phil was staring ahead and not giving Kim the satisfaction of meeting her eyes. What was going through his mind? He acted nonchalant and don’t think his jaws locked in that scene. Did he see
    Lina lift her chin a bit so she wouldn’t slump back with pain? When she couldn’t get up with the rest of the guests when the bride came to walk the isle? What were his thoughts and feels when His 2 worlds collided and came face to face?

    Hope today you get to write a lighter scene!!

    • At that point he was just filled with concern about Lina. Also remember that she drank before the wedding and made a statement that worried him about being her old self. He could feel Lina’s tension but didn’t see the chin lift.

  108. Even though my Phil may be naked and exposed (oh the view)…he will still come out the victor with his beautiful wife and family. No doubt. Lina I don’t mean to be greedy, but when she asks Phil to come back home…her head is on Phil’s chest and he is rubbing her scalp…make it hawwwwt like he lifts her chin or pulls her head back by her hair (gently) and drops one of your Alpha signature kisses to her lips for his answer….whew….That’s hotter than my coffee…. I’ll let you pick who says get rid of the kids LOL.

    • LOL Okay Swimming Naked Wins followed closely by Travesty of justice with a psychopath and Wrapped and Tangled!

  109. Maybe Laura you mean Phil will be transparent and vulnerable with Lina ?! Also I know it’s late eastern time so this question will be for tomorrow. Do you ever have faces to go with your characters? Who would you cast for Lina and Kim I wonder? Is that too personal and subjective? Lastly who is more physically attractive to you? Kim or Emily? I realize we may never see Emily again but they are both blondes and I remember Logan going goo goo gaa gaa over her. I see Emily as more bubbly and Kim as more sultry and catlike?

    • Yes, exactly. Phil will be naked and exposed.
      I know in my mind what they look like. My daughter and her friends love to play this game. When I was writing A Sense of Belonging she sent me a picture of what she thought Tony looked like — it turned me off so much I couldn’t write for a day. I can’t remember who it was but he looked to me like he was twenty-five — turned out he was thirty-three. In my mind Tony looked like a handsome forty-five year old. Of course she was more right than I was, considering he’s only thirty-four.
      But in answer to your question yes Emily is more cute and bubbly and Kim is more sultry and classically beautiful. Lina is a Bridget Moynahan type. Emily is a young Kelly Ripa.

      • Great descriptions! Lina is a stunner than and more than a match for Kim! Who would you describe Kim as?

          • Hi Carrie….I envision her more like the Meredith Blake Character in the Parent Trap. More like Elaine Hendrix…She’s a witch just like Meredith

          • Ok you ladies are way younger than either Tracie and me but I keep thinking young Morgan Fairchild in falcon crest with better modern haircut. Remember that show? BAhahaha. If I’m being nice, then young heather locklear during tj hooker days(gorgeous ). Maybe heather can be Emily. Not the rehab heather. Can’t imagine Lina or
            Phil or nick since I want them to remain fictional.

          • Weirdly so do I! Cause she plays a bitch quite a lot and photos done of the ideas in her roles!

  110. Ooh. I had that written down and I erased it. But I also had social security down before deleting. Lol. Perfect!!

  111. Perfect that ties in with the same flashback scene when they where on the beach, during Phil’s senior trip. That’s where she told him she wanted a house with AWPF! I love it!

    • Yes! And as soon as I read your comment it struck me. There is another meaning to the title that will come out in the sequel

  112. Possessive Behavior

    Where Kim made her mistake

    protecting his wife and children

    None of her business

    Wrapped and tangled.

  113. Ok let me scroll back and forth. I’m not home though so it’s a bit harder. You did say a lot today. Lol

  114. Omg you are making me laugh. No on lust over reason. Omg. Lol. Travesty of justice with a psychopath. Stop. I’m sweating. Safe place to land. Omgggg. Tell me more!

  115. Laura I’m wondering if Phil is going to be transparent where Kim is concerned in the sequel, only with Lina though. I’m hoping they make decisions together, where Kim and Liam are concerned.

    • you’ll see…

      BTW – after reading one of your messages today the name of the sequel came to me. Can you guess?

        • I say way to much, but just a down and dirty browse, I came up with: A Safe Place to Land; Lust over Reason; Perfect Harmony; Getting kind of desperate now A Wife’s Champion; or bottom of the barrel A Travesty of Justice with a Psychopath! Am I close with any of them?

  116. Laura you are probably tired of my what was Phil thinking questions, but it gives me knowledge and hopefully recruits some to Team Phil. LOL…After her phone call with Phil the next day after the text messages, when she told him it was hard to remember he loved her when all I can see are the words you texted her. When he hung up what were his thoughts? Then when he went into the backyard and saw Lina in the hot tub (I assume looking lifeless) until he got to her and she responded, what was he thinking?

    • Text — he’s upset for Lina (but he feels like she already knows about the affair) so more furious at Kim and completely frustrated that they are moving in the wrong direction — he just wants to move past the affair.


    • I love your What Was Phil Thinking questions! It’s been a week since I read both books, and I’m still trying to forgive him. I need to know the depths of his despair and regret and anguish!

  117. You will get your HEA! Social security scene can come in Logan’s book. Not yet! Remember what Laura said about Kim not being a good mom because she’s self absorbed? I have a mom friend who is bit self absorbed. She’s on her 3rd marriage. I think Kim will use Liam as a pawn, it’ll be up to Lina give him normalcy.

  118. Yes it is Janet…I just need Phil and Lina wrapped and tangled at the end of this book with a big HEA and may be an extended Epilogue with them on Social Security and swimming naked!!!!

    • I’m really hoping Liam isn’t used as a pawn…I’m also wondering/hoping that the Hunter kids have a better appreciation of their mother, and a softer spot for Liam, when Kim is showing her true self as both a person and a mother.

      Laura you can confirm that comment about the kids, if you want LOL!!!!

  119. Oh brother about Adele. I just want our Lina to have supporters other than Phil and Adele has street creds. Who can intimidate this woman? I don’t even think Phil. You knew where it was going and you were wrong? That makes me nervous! I’m wound up tight too.
    Regarding Kim at the wedding.. let’s see. She’s confident and selfish. She was probably glad to see Lina came with Phil. What she wasn’t expecting was Phil ignoring her and showing his love for Lina. I don’t think she saw that coming. I’m so glad to hear phil kissed Lina for Lina and not to show off to Kim. So good!

  120. That is awesome though…You are not just putting words on a page without feeling or much thought (that makes you unique), you are shifting gears as the characters progress in your mind. I tell my team all the time, think out of box, you are above standard!!!! That is why your books grab me…you think out of the box!!!!

  121. Like me…tighter than a bow string. Laura I can actually feel the anticipation in my gut for this sequel…LOL

    • I have to say it’s unfolding before my eyes. I thought I knew exactly where it was going and I was wrong. The reason the reader can’t predict where it’s going is because the writer doesn’t know either lol

  122. Janet do you think she might have went to the wedding to see if Phil really told Lina the truth about her and the baby??? Also, Phil giving Lina that slow kiss and not taking his hand off her at the wedding (my opinion) spurred Kim on…Her jealousy was probably on overdrive. Kim wanted to size Lina up and again my opinion, see Phil and Lina’s interactions. Laura said the reason Phil said this isn’t about Lina (Chapter 15) and shut down that line of conversation, was because Kim was trying to find out what Lina thought about the pregnancy (None of her business). I also bet he wouldn’t talk with her at work, reasoning for the house calls. I also wouldn’t have left when he was still talking to Kim. Wonder what was said when Lina left the side of the house????

    Laura…was Phil trying to send a message (loving, touching and squeezing Lina) to Kim at the wedding? She had to know watching them, that he was in love with Lina.

    • In those moments Phil was being authentic. He was just trying to reassure Lina. He wasn’t really giving thoughts to anyone else. He knew Lina was a bit wound up too.

  123. Fair enough. I’m sure this continues using Liam as an excuse. I would love for Kim to meet Adele. Imagine that encounter!

      • I knew she wouldn’t be intimidated the moment you wrote about Kim’s eyes on the dance floor and what she said to Lina….But..Oh my the slap from our girl Lina, also said bring it on…..Janet, Lina will play this hand…I don’t think she will need any help from Adele…That is her man and her family…Pride before a fall..Kim better look for a safe place to land….

  124. Laura, does Phil know about your warning? How does he know? From Kim’s sister or from Kim herself? Also when there’s a phone convo between Phil and Kim in Ch 15, Lina asks why kim calls when she knows he’s home and how often he talks to her and he said not often but more than he likes. What did he mean? Kim was still working at the firm. Was she bothering him at work? Calling him? Also why so late when she knows he’s home? For that exact reason? She could have told him about attending the wedding via text no?

    • I’m not telling… don’t want to ruin the scene.

      Kim is selfish so she calls Phil whenever she feels like it. And yes she could have texted him but she wanted to hear his voice.

  125. Veronica (my opinion) I don’t think we will. I think we will get her comments (basic conversation) like we got between Lina and others in the first book.

  126. In my mind Janet baby..in my mind…I’m actually 54 years old, 5’2″ and 130….Every time my boss tries to give me a tasker, I remind him, I hired on as a sex symbol, not to actually do a job!!!! LOL Got that one from my mom, she used it for years…..I live life ever day and try to laugh a whole lot!!!!!

  127. You make me laugh out loud every single day. God bless your beautiful
    Soul! I’m sure you are hotter than Raquel Welch!

  128. I’m not talking about pictures…not happening…I’m talking a gathering for Liam’s birthday. I hope the families have separate birthdays, if that’s an option…

    Laura…Thanksgiving was Lina’s favorite holiday…will that be in the sequel?

    • I would be honored to be a character for Laura…Sister just so you know how to write me….I’m a cross between Weezer/Dorothy (Golden Girls/and for my own ego Raquel Welch….LOL I just cracked my own self up!!!!! If my daughter saw this she would groan and say…MAMA Please and fix your face your eyes are talking….LOL

      • LOL Exactly. You are too unique to have as a character. I had to study my mother over a lifetime to get her down.

      • Thank you girls…I enjoy our banter so much!!! I’ll continue to champion the ones you do write Laura…..

  129. Lol Tracie. With your unique sense of humor you may end up as a character in one of Laura’s future books! I can’t see the birthday kumbaya or Coca Cola happening here. Laura said never in a million years will we see a big family pic. Phil puts Lina before Liam or Logan now. He didn’t even want her to attend the wedding and this was all before Kim showed her true colors. He won’t put her in that position ever again. Maybe at Liam’s college graduation or wedding. Not before and if Kim sticks around.

  130. Mesmerized…is going to cost her dearly. But my hormone side hawwwwwwt….. (not about Kim…but him in court). She saw him before she worked at the law firm…she is strategically placing herself. Come on Kim….(Jaw’s theme playing in my head)…

    • She saw her future in his closing statement. Ahhh. The relentless pursuing from the getgo makes sense. Changing jobs so she can call dibs on him.

  131. Yes there’s more than meets the eye regarding the tie. We talked about this theory. If Phil is as good as Tony I Can’t even! Did you decide to add a scene of Phil in court? Lord have mercy on all of us

    • There won’t be any boiling rabbits — remember realistic characters. I can only write from my own sphere — fortunately, I’ve never known any psychopaths

    • Got you Janet…your knuck’s should be white… Oh this is going to get so good….Thanks for the warning word Laura…I need that to cope…LOL

  132. Tracie, Phil is talking to Kim’s sister! What does this imply? He has to reach out to the sister to talk some sense into Kim? He refuses to have one on one contact with Kim so the sisters the mediator? The sister has to be the one with all her faculties in order!

    • Janet who knows what Kim’s actual behavior might be in the sequel, I don’t even want to guess…but her sister unlike Kim, could possibly be concerned with Kim’s possessive behavior with Phil (moving down the road) and having a heart to heart with him. That’s why I asked the question why back about her parents and siblings. Plus, Liam is her nephew…..that’s another family situation Phil will have to navigate. Gawd, can you imagine if they have a joint birthday all that family around Lina and her kids. This is where I would need Grandma Alice to start singing the old Coca-Cola Theme Song: I’d like to teach the world to sing in Perfect Harmony….everybody sing!! LOL

  133. Laura I always wondered this too….after Phil came home (Apr-Jul), did they ever have a minute to get away together, and discuss all the changes that would incur in their lives. In Chapter 47, when Lina asked “How do we go back, so much has changed.” Her thoughts going to his new son. So somewhere between that and Alice’s wedding they had to talk. I just asked because if there was something that wouldn’t compromise the sequel, it would be fun to see…if it would compromise keep close hold…LOL

  134. Right, we all picked the book up knowing the subject matter and we are all invested in the outcome! One thing Phil is not is wishy washy. We know where he’s heart lies.

  135. Janet another wrong placement of my reply..it should of been below your comment not above ugh…..It’s above your 12:34 comment….

  136. LOl Veronica,

    Those are the books that came up. Half of them I don’t even remember the author. I read a decent one where a couple is older if you don’t mind reading about a diff generation. It was my fist time. Also, there’s Julie N Ford’s The woman he Married, and Michelle Reid’s The Ultimate Betrayal(it’s a short harlequin but really good). CL Knopf, The Affair. Natascha Holloway, Splintered Memory. Sarah Pekkanen, The Ever After

    • Ha ha so funny we have the same list! I like older couples as well, their actions are usually more through your and mature! I have read literally the same ones you have! Some were great
      Some not so much! That’s why it’s a breath of fresh air seeing a hero realise his mistake and only love one woman!

  137. Also,
    I know it’s been addressed before! But are we
    Going to see Phil realising he is an idiot for not using protection with his mistress. I know men do it but I always marvel at their stupidity at putting their trust in a woman committing adultery with th to be on the pill! They could easily trap them! As an intelligent man I thought Phil would be savvy enough to use condoms for goodness sake! If not for him then to make sure he did not pick up on any diseases to give his wife! I’m sure he hardly thought Kim was a virgin! Sorry just stupidity is infuriating in intelligent people when it could hurt others!

    • I do my best to write realistic characters. I don’t always like what they do or how they behave, but they are real. I find Phil one of my most authentic characters. The leading man in a story about an affair will clearly have flaws

      • That is so true! I agree because I have read so many stories of infidelity where the men have not worn condoms with the mistresses, so common and so silly! You have written him as a real flawed person which does work perfectly! Sorry ranting but this book really got all my emotions going! Thank you so much for answering!

        • Veronica it boils down to Phil putting his lust over reason. He was physically sucked in and trusted the wrong person. I also wonder if they had any terms between them…physical and that is it. Phil had to know somewhere in the back of his mind that at some point the affair would have to end. Laura said the pink tie incident was the first time his two worlds collided. I bet after his re-connection with Lina, he wished he hadn’t lost his THINKING CAP…LOL

          • Ha h so true! Does make sense! Just what to shake him, but think it’s all becoming clear
            To him!

          • ditto. Phil put Phil first and hates wearing condoms because it ruins his pleasure. Kim on her best behavior says she’s on the pill, I don’t think Phil thought beyond that. He wasn’t thinking with his first head. Ok that damn stupid pansy ass tie. lol

    • Laura, this was another point of contention for me…him not trying to stay somewhat “separate” and detached from a woman other than Lina. Like, he was all in when he slept with Kim. Aside from taking the risk of pregnancy and std’s, I feel like he should have, in the back of his mind somewhere, wanted to not be that close to anyone other than Lina, and so used condoms as a literal barrier. That really bothered me.

  138. Crap. Thank you for sharing. I’m glad you had that outlet and therapy to relieve some of the pain and your loss. My outlet is reading. Clung to books while I went through multiple miscarriages and when I was on full bed rest with my twins I couldn’t concentrate on anything but somehow I could absorb the words in a book. So now wherever I got or whatever situation I’m in I make sure my kindles are in within my reach. I got up to 30% on Hard Time. Love it so far-darker and bit melancholy. Totally my cuppa.

  139. Hello, sorry Laura but you mentioned Kim falling in love with Phil? It that love though, because Does Kim really know what love isp? She seems malicious and slightly off key. She seems like she loves the chase and forbidden fruit. I feel like she becomes obsessed easily and does not like to lose. I can’t imagine her love is real or deep or that Phil is her first married guy? Or that she even really loves him? So is she not just besotted and delusional?

      • Really? Ha if that’s her version of love I pity and fool who takes her on. Did she not flag up crazy signals when her and Phil got together?

        • It’s funny you’re asking this right now because at this exact moment I am writing a scene where Phil is discussing Kim with her sister. My mom used to say people can bring out the best or worst in another person. Maybe Phil just brings out the worst in her.

          • Ha ha so random! I do agree, there are
            People that get you worked up or bring out your worse qualities! However, you have to have those nasty parts
            To be built on. I’m not saying Kim is evil, but I would say she is a natural bitch. To literally laugh in the face of a woman you broke and scheme to break up a family and willingly hurt people no matter the cost, you are not a good person and not completely sane. I would say anyone who does not do what Kim wants gets the same treatment. Also, from the hints of her lack of parenting I would say she naturally lacks empathy and is selfish!

          • wait. Phil is discussing Kim with her sister. Kim has a sister? gasp. I thought for sure she would be an only child. Spoiled rotten bratty only child who refused to share any of her toys as a girl and as a woman.

          • Janet that is where Kim made her mistake. Unbeknownst to Kim, her thoughts and beliefs were moot to Phil and she took his physical need for emotional. Now, Phil has seen Kim’s true colors and is probably wondering what he is dealing with and where does her actual mental stability really stand. His main concern now (my opinion) is protecting his wife and children, to include Liam.

        • Laura told us she is young, smart, and beautiful. Guys falling all over her. and here’s the key word. Narcissist. She really believes he would leave a marriage of 25 years for her. Most women would think how can I break through a 25 year old bond? Kim thinks I’m here just in time to save Phil from his boring life and give him a new beginning.

        • Laura could it possibly be just desperation wanting something (Phil) that she can’t have (spoiled, entitled personality)..is she confusing love with lust. My own opinion, I think Kim not only wants Phil, but the perks that goes with him. Lina’s car, her house, Phil’s love, etc…Would she still want Phil if he was poor or middle class?

          • Yes Laura told us. I thought she meant her parents. Also, part of Phil’s appeal is that he is mature and a partner. No she doesn’t want him if he’s middle class. Who’s going to get her the Harry Winston? I think she’s already used to the good life. She’s successful on her own and likes the fact that she can’t control Phil. Just ugh. Veronica, I called her antichrist to Laura yesterday.

          • WARNING — The first time Kim saw Phil he was giving a closing argument in New York City — she was “mesmerized”

    • Hi Veronica, I will write the book recs here. Little hesitant because of the subject matter but I understand wanting to compare. Phil is going to come off as an angel after these books. Maybe when Tracie has time she can chime in. So we all read SP west’s Life Without You. Roxanne Winkler Admissions of guilt(writing a bit choppy but similiar theme), I liked Barbie Bohrman’s Promise Me(cheating but not affair though), Caroline Robert’s The Torn up Marriage(This may have diff. title on amazon now), Jolyn Palliata, A Modern Love Story. Chick lit-Susan Lewis, The Mill house and Tess Stimson’s The Adultery Club. So many more but start here if you haven’t read them

      • Ha ha literally read all the same books as you so random! My least favourite were probably The Adultery Club and Mill House as Well as Life Without you as all the heros were beyond redemption in my eyes! Does make you appreciate Phil! What did you think of the books? Thanks for telling me!

        • I liked torn up marriage and sp west because the writing was good. Like you hated mill house and was disgusted with adultery club. Waste of my time. I can’t eemeber the title but there’s one where it’s set in England and the couple is close to retiring and the wife finds out about the affair and there’s a baby involved? The husband is a lawyer too. Not hea. I liked that one. Couldn’t find it under my read pile

          • Oh yes! So funny. I think that’s the one. I just follow people. I don’t post anywhere other than here and most of it is want to read pile so I can keep track. I think we must follow the same people. Sounds like you’ve a read a lot of cheating couples though. I’m now reading what Laura recommended. Cara McKenna. Hard time. It’s good. Try that if you haven’t. Turns out I read one of hers long ago but forgot all about it

  140. I threw myself into A Sense of Belonging when I lost my almost 14-year-old Boston Terrier. I had lost my mom several months earlier and I was so sad. A Sense of Belonging was my escape — I basically wrote nonstop. I lived on about four hours sleep a night for six weeks. I reread it, added a couple of scenes and it was done. I dedicated it to my dog — Joey. Just writing this makes me miss him.

    • Awww Laura that made me sad for you sweetie….I’m very attached to my dogs too! I’ve got a miniature Labradoodle that I’ve had for 13 years and she is losing her sight and hearing….Then I have my gorgeous German Shepherd….They love their mama too! LOL

  141. LOL. Oh I can’t watch the movie. The main character Jamie Dornan was a miscast imo. He looks just like one of my sons BFF! I just can’t. Plus he’s not broody. He is too happy for me. I do like Dakota Johnson though. Ok. let’s stop our rambling for today so we can be fresh to grill Laura and torture her tomorrow. I feel bad that others have to read our comments to get to the answers but I adore our exchanges so much. Forgive us!

  142. 18 years?? I did not know that. 6 weeks?? what the what? How are you this gifted? It’s not right. Do you mean 6 months or 6 weeks? Also, for the longest time I was so against reading 50 but once I read it, I compared it to harlequin on crack. It had all the old harlequin feels for me with a lot detailed OTT sex. I loved it! My husband was so disappointed I gave in and read it but I actually bought those on paperbacks to keep forever. Tracie, did you discuss the books with your daughter afterwards? blush. LOL

    • Well yes….but Hailee would not let me go to the movies with her. She said mama that would be way to weird, so she went with her crew and I went with mine LOL!

  143. oooooh. Just downloaded Hard Time. Love inmates. Love librarians even more. Perfect pairing. Gonna dive in now. Vi keeland will have to wait. Thank you for the recommendation!

  144. Your books are the best Laura. Just too mature for a teenager but I will post here when she gets into college and she holds up her first romance novel- anything by Laura Branchflower. Bahaha. I’m one clicking on cara McKenna now. Isn’t Anne Calhoun considered erotica? Not sure but I read most of hers. I also don’t mind m/m romance if it’s kindle Alexander.

    • LOL You should probably start her with a Harlequin (an old one)
      I think it took Jane Austen 18 years to write Pride and Prejudice. Every sentence was written and rewritten
      I took me 6 weeks to write A Sense of Belonging haha
      It took over a year to write A White Picket Fence
      Yes Anne Calhoun is considered erotica