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Shelley Munro
March 15th, 2008, 12:56 AM
http://www.shelleymunro.com/blog/wp-content/image-headlines/22a102ee8852912af1f971725233776b.png (http://www.shelleymunro.com/blog/2008/03/14/where-are-you-from/)

http://www.shelleymunro.com/blog/wp-content/AllTheWayHome_sm_msr.jpgMy guest today is Cerridwen Press (http://cerridwenpress.com/AuthorsBooks.asp?AuthorCode=JMat) author, Jenyfer Matthews (http://www.jenyfermatthews.com/). This week Jenyfer has a brand new contemporary release out called All the Way Home (http://cerridwenpress.com/AuthorsBooks.asp?AuthorCode=JMat).

Here’s the blurb:

Maggie Dean and Sam Callahan grew up in the same town, knew each other in school, admired each other from afar, but never dated. She was just a little too straight and narrow for this bad boy. Now they’re all grown up and back in their hometown, she to deal with a family crisis, he to prove that he’s changed his ways.

After enduring her parents’ loveless marriage and coming home to help her sister pick up the pieces of her broken one, Maggie isn’t interested in relationships. Sam Callahan is not only still gorgeous, but he’s still available. Neither Maggie nor Sam can deny their attraction but they’re still at odds. Can Sam be the one to convince Maggie marriage can work?


~*~

One question I’ve always disliked is “where are you from?” – which comes up with great regularity since I live in Egypt and it’s pretty obvious I’m not from here. I can sometimes skirt the question by answering “America” but there are times when more a more specific answer is required and expected.

It’s an innocuous question and it should be easy to answer. Not for me. Even before I went abroad with my husband, I had moved around a lot. Twelve times to be exact. Most of the time when people ask where I’m from I answer Louisiana because it was where I spent most of my formative years. But even though I lived in Louisiana from the ages of 5 to college, natives would never let me forget that I wasn’t really from there. I wasn’t born there and my parents being transplanted Midwesterners made me a Yankee by default. I’m probably lucky that I survived the time when I was ten and I pointed out that the North had won the war when the other kids were teasing me about being a Yankee. (It was news to them!)

The question of where I’m from comes up a lot in airports, when people make chit chat in the gate area. If I were alone, no doubt I could bury my nose in a book and ignore everyone but when you are travelling with small hyper children – children who talk to people – you sometimes get sucked into conversation. And while I might lie when asked the question, just to simplify things, my kids always pipe up with the truth. “Cairo!” they announce to anyone within ear shot. “We live in Egypt!”

That revelation always requires a lengthy explanation of how we got there, what my husband does for a living, how long we will stay (don’t know) and are we afraid of being blown up by terrorists (not much). A mini interview and more information than I would normally share with a stranger in an airport when jet-lagged and sleep deprived.

The usual reaction to all this information seems to be puzzlement. Even most of my friends and family are puzzled at why we live so far away and travel so much so I can hardly expect strangers to react any differently, can I? What might surprise them though is that I am equally puzzled at why they stay put.

The longest I’ve lived in any one place is 6 years. I’ve never had the luxury of being too big a packrat and most of my childhood books, papers, and toys have long gone. I don’t have a family home to return to because my parents have pretty well been as nomadic as I have. There are few people who have known me more than 10 years and fewer still that have known me more than 15. And there’s something kind of nice about being able to reinvent yourself with every move. When no one knows you, you can start with a clean slate every where you go. Even your wardrobe gets a new lease on life.

As mystifying and unsettled as my life might seem to others, I can’t really imagine what it must be like to *not* move. To stay in one place your whole life. To know that your kindergarten art work is in a box in the corner of the attic at your mother’s house – which is just down the street. To have gone to school with the same people for the whole time — and still socialize with them. To know who all of your neighbors and their children are. To remember when the Waffle House on the corner used to be an independently owned diner and before that a vacant lot. To have worked at the same job for your entire career.

Yes, there are times when I dream of finding a nice little house somewhere where I can paint the walls any color I like, plant a vegetable garden and stay put for the next forty years or so. But the world is a big place and I haven’t found my ideal spot – yet.

I keep dreaming though. And maybe that’s why I tend to write books that take place in small towns. Maggie, the heroine of my current release ALL THE WAY HOME, is reluctantly returning to her home town after an extended time away. She’s ambivalent about her return – until she runs into her high school crush and finds out that not only is he still gorgeous but he’s still single too. Maggie’s had a restless spirit, can Sam convince her to settle down?

(Come on - It’s a romance novel! How else would it end?)

As for me, I’m sure that one day I’ll find the perfect place to settle down. And when I do, I’m staying put too!
<SMALL></SMALL>

Shelley Munro
March 15th, 2008, 01:18 AM
Blurb:

Maggie Dean and Sam Callahan grew up in the same town, knew each other in school, admired each other from afar, but never dated. She was just a little too straight and narrow for this bad boy. Now they’re all grown up and back in their hometown - she to deal with a family crisis, he to prove that he’s changed his ways.

After enduring her parents’ loveless marriage and coming home to help her sister pick up the pieces of her broken one, Maggie isn’t interested in relationships. Sam Callahan is not only still gorgeous, but he’s still available. Neither Maggie nor Sam can deny their attraction but they’re still at odds. Maggie’s down on family life – can Sam be the one to convince her to settle down?



All The Way Home


by


Jenyfer Matthews (http://www.jenyfermatthews.com/)


Available Now from Cerridwen Press (http://www.cerridwenpress.com/productpage.asp?ISBN=9781419914898)




Excerpt:


“Melanie! Where are you?” Maggie called as she stormed into the kitchen, letting the screen door slam behind her. Even the scent of freshly baked blueberry muffins didn’t soothe her temper.

“I’m here, hang on,” Melanie answered as she came down the stairs.

“Where were you? I made breakfast for us.”

“I took the dog to the vet. By the way, did you know that Sam Callahan — Sam Callahan from high school — was the vet?” Maggie demanded.

Melanie didn’t bother to suppress a smile. “I did actually, yes.”

Maggie gaped at her. “Then why didn’t you tell me, for god’s sake? You could have at least warned me.”

“I thought it would be more fun this way,” Melanie answered. When she saw Maggie’s scowl, she laughed. “Oh my god, you don’t still have a crush on him do you?”

Maggie stared. “What are you talking about? I never had a crush on Sam.”

“Then what’s the problem?”

“I was just surprised to see him. So surprised that I couldn’t remember how to speak properly and made a fool of myself,” she complained.

“Maggie at a loss for words, now there’s a first. You do still have a crush on him,” Melanie said as she got down two coffee mugs from the cupboard.

“I do not! And why are you saying ‘still’? Who said I ever did?” Maggie asked as she paced.

“Oh, come on, Maggie. I read your diary. Why else were you writing ‘Mrs. Maggie Callahan’ over and over and over?”

Maggie felt like she’d been hit in the head with a brick for the second time that morning. “You read my diary? My private and personal diary? How could you?”

Melanie shrugged. “Isn’t that what little sisters are for?”

Maggie was so angry couldn’t speak. She left the kitchen and let the screen door slam behind her, stalking across the driveway back to her room over the garage.

Melanie followed her. “Come on, Maggie, it was years and years ago. Don’t be mad.”

“It may have been years ago, but I only just found out that all of my private thoughts weren’t so private after all. So, did you have fun? Did you share them with all your friends?” Maggie fumed.

Melanie bit her lip. That told Maggie all she needed to know.

“Try to understand what it was like for me, Maggie. I was the little sister always two steps behind you. I just wanted to see what it was like to be grown up. I’m sorry if you feel like I invaded your privacy. I didn’t do it to hurt you.”

Maggie harrumphed. “Well, I guess it’s no good denying I had a crush on Sam. But ‘had’ is the operative word. As in past tense.”

Melanie held up her hands. “Okay, whatever you say. I’m sorry that I didn’t tell you about him. I never thought you would get so worked up about it. He’s still pretty hot, huh?”

Maggie only glared at her in reply.

Melanie moved toward the boxes that were still stacked up near the small bookshelf. “Hey, you didn’t unpack your books yet. Need some help?”
“What? Oh, no, thanks. I’ll do it later on sometime. I’m not really in the mood to read that stuff right now anyway.”

Melanie sat down in the reading chair. “Okay, now I know something is wrong. You don’t want to work? What gives?”

Maggie sighed and sank down on her bed. She closed her eyes and pinched the bridge of her nose. “I guess I’m just burned out at the moment. I’ve been working so hard to finish up my degree and have been focused so long on writing and then defending my dissertation that I just don’t even want to think about any of that stuff for a little while.”

“Are you saying that you don’t want to be a professor anymore?” Melanie asked incredulously. “It’s all you’ve been working for all these years.”

“What do you care? You always thought what I was doing was boring anyway,” Maggie replied.

“That’s not the point,” Melanie answered. “I can’t deny I couldn’t see the appeal of studying all those long dead artists and all the dull and dry history that went along with it —“

“Thanks a lot.”

“Let me finish. You obviously saw something in all that stuff that I didn’t. So why are you just tossing all that aside now? Do you want to just quit?”

“No, that’s not what I’m saying,” Maggie answered. She fell back and lay on the bed. “At least I don’t think that’s what I’m saying. Hell, I’m tired. I don’t know what I want to do anymore. But what I do not want to do is read those books. Not now anyway.”

“I have an idea.”

“This ought to be good,” Maggie muttered.

“Smart ass. I should just let you lie there and wallow,” Melanie said, preparing to leave.

Maggie sat up. “Okay, I’m sorry. What’s your idea?”

“Why don’t you paint? You were so good at it, and it’s what got you interested in studying art in the first place. Why not get your hands dirty again? It might be just what you need to get over this rough spot.”

Maggie smiled. “You know, you’re pretty smart for a bratty little sister. Thanks.”

“Now that your problem is solved, it’s my turn. I need a favor,” Melanie said, suddenly looking a little pensive.

“What is it?”

“I’ve been reading those books you brought me and I was hoping, that is, I wanted to ask you… if you’ll be my labor coach,” Melanie said in a rush.

“I won’t have to start birthing classes for a while yet, but you’re supposed to have a coach to help you practice your breathing exercises and to help you during delivery. So? Will you be my coach, Maggie?”

“But, but — what about Adam?” Maggie asked. “I’m not sure I —“

Melanie nodded. “I know how squeamish you are, but I really need you there, Maggie. As for Adam, at this point, I don’t know where he is, how can I count on him being back in time for the baby’s birth? What do you say? Will you do it?”

Maggie closed her eyes. She couldn’t stand the sight of blood or other… stuff. She even waxed her legs so she wouldn’t have to worry about nicking herself shaving. She didn’t know how she was ever going to get through childbirth herself. But she’d made Melanie a promise and she intended to keep it.

“Okay. I’ll do it. I’ll be your labor coach,” Maggie agreed.

“Okay, great. Thank you,” Melanie answered with a relieved smile. “Now let’s go eat, I’m starved. After breakfast, we’ll go to the library and get you a couple of big juicy romance novels. That should clear the cobwebs out,” Melanie said, wiggling her eyebrows.

“Sure,” Maggie said half-heartedly. But she didn’t think she’d get any romance novels. That was the last thing she on her mind right now.

Buy This Book! (http://www.cerridwenpress.com/productpage.asp?ISBN=9781419914898)

CharmedGirl
March 16th, 2008, 12:10 AM
Sounds like a great book.

Shelley Munro
March 16th, 2008, 01:46 AM
I haven't had a chance to read it yet. I'm short of time at the moment but there's certainly no shortage of great books!

Shelley