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Nom de Plume by @romancerider is a Love and Romance Festival pick #romance #romancereaders #giveaway


Nom de Plume


Jan Scarbrough


Contemporary Romance

Book Blurb:

Divorced, with her dreams of a big, happy family smashed to pieces, C.B Lyons takes her son to live near family. Typing manuscripts for a famous author is the perfect job until she discovers the hidden truth about the reclusive writer. Madison Mallory is a best-selling romance author with a secret. “She” is a “he.” The original Madison is in a nursing home. Her son, Jamie Madison, is determined she’ll have the best care possible. Even if that taking up his mother’s pen name. Writing about romance is one thing. Making it work in real life is harder. When C.B.’s ex wants his family back, can the author and his assistant find a way to write their own happily-ever-after ending?


Chapter One

Friday Morning Louisville, Kentucky

“Eat your oatmeal, Scotty,” Colleen Lyons said with a mother’s practiced voice.

The blond-haired boy stabbed at his gooey porridge with a spoon, preferring to pound the table with the end of his utensil rather than use it for eating. Tomorrow her son turned three. It hardly seemed possible. Time had flown so fast. Colleen cast a loving glance at Scotty before she turned to the kitchen counter where the one-cup coffee maker hissed as the hazelnut brew finished flowing into a ceramic mug.

After pouring a generous amount of cream into the steaming cup of liquid, Colleen carried it to the table and placed it near her husband Daniel. He gazed at the morning paper without looking up, without acknowledging her helpfulness. That was all right. She didn’t work outside the home, after all, and being a housewife and mother meant she did additional duties relieving Daniel of responsibility. He attended med school and needed time to study.

Life would be better once his schooling was complete, but that would be several years away. She could wait. Just as she waited on him daily, Colleen had patience enough for both of them. Nevertheless, she often imagined the future. It was like a shiny object just beyond her reach—Daniel in the pediatric practice with his father, Scotty going off to middle school, and maybe another child to care for, a daughter this time. She’d always wanted a big family.

Yet, there were times when Colleen bit her tongue. Like now. Daniel looked a mess. His hair was tousled, and his rheumy eyes rimmed with dark circles. He remained in his pajamas—a loose-fitting Louisville Cardinals T-shirt and gray sweatpants.

She turned back to the stove where bacon sizzled. “I wish you’d drive to Heritage Springs tomorrow for Scotty’s birthday party.”

Using a fork to remove the bacon, Colleen drained it on a paper towel. Then she scrambled free-range eggs in a frying pan that didn’t have bacon grease in it. Daniel loved an old-fashioned breakfast. Cooking for him had been part of their routine since they met in college.

Putting the plate of food beside his paper, Colleen waited for a response. When none came, she drew her mouth into a rigid line. She never challenged Daniel, never complained. But when it came to Scotty, Colleen sometimes gathered her courage to speak.

“Did you hear me?”

Daniel looked up. “What?”

“I said I wished you’d take a break and come to Scotty’s birthday party tomorrow.”

“You know I can’t,” Daniel said. “I have a big exam in two weeks.”

“I know.” Colleen’s shoulders slumped. “I was hoping you’d find the time. Scotty only turns three once. You’re always studying and away from home.”

“We’ve discussed this, Colleen. My education comes first. It’s important to this family.”

Colleen surveyed him with disappointment. He had already turned his attention back to the newspaper. Her husband was doing his best. Becoming a doctor like his father was important to Daniel—to all of them. She fought back a stab of guilt. She shouldn’t complain. It wasn’t good to nag. She needed to be supportive.

“Aren’t you going to eat your breakfast?” Colleen asked with a sigh.

“What?” Daniel glanced up again. “Oh, yes. Sure.”

He laid down the paper and slowly moved the breakfast plate in front of him. Colleen noticed his hands shake as he picked up a slice of bacon.

“I don’t think you’re getting enough sleep.” The observation simply slipped out because it was natural for her to worry.

“I’m okay,” he mumbled, stabbing at his eggs like Scotty played with his oatmeal. “I have to study, you know?”

“Yes, I know.”

Still Colleen felt a niggling disquiet. She didn’t like the way her husband looked. She hated to see him pushing himself so hard, sacrificing so much for them.

Letting out a big breath that was too much like another sigh, Colleen turned back to the kitchen sink and dunked the skillet into the hot, soapy water. She would double down on her efforts. She’d try harder to make life go easier for Daniel—his home life, which was the only thing she could control.

And she silently vowed again not to hassle her husband.

After finishing with cleanup, Colleen lifted Scotty from his booster seat. “Let’s go get ready, pumpkin. Grandpa and Nana are waiting for us.”

Before she left the kitchen, Colleen looked once more at the man she’d married with such joy only four years earlier. Daniel stared at his plate of food. He’d hardly eaten a thing.

Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):

What’s your favorite part about being a romance author?

Doing research for a book.

Here’s my tip to add romance to your love life:

Ask “How was your day?” and then listen.

Giveaway –

One lucky reader will win a $75 Amazon US or Canada gift card.

Open internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US or Amazon CA account to win.

Runs February 1 – 28, 2023.

Drawing will be held on March 1, 2023.

Author Biography:

The author of two popular Bluegrass romance series, Jan Scarbrough writes heartwarming contemporary stories about home and family, single moms, and children. Living in the horse country of Kentucky makes it easy for Jan to add small town, Southern charm to her books and the excitement of a Bluegrass horse race or a competitive horse show.

The Ghost Mountain Ranch series is a contemporary western series with a good blend of mystery and happily-ever-after romance. The Dawsons of Montana is another four-book contemporary western series.

Jan leaves her contemporary voice behind with two paranormal gothic romances, Timeless and Tangled Memories, a Romance Writers of America (RWA) Golden Heart finalist. Her historical romance, My Lord Raven, is a medieval story of honor and betrayal.

A member of Novelist, Inc., Jan self-publishes her books with her husband’s help.

Jan lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with one rescued dog, one rescued cat, and a husband she rescued twenty-three years ago.

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