A Melancholy Mother’s Day

As Mother’s Day approaches, I’ve been thinking about my mom.

Eileen Broeker Circa 1940

She passed away over ten years ago, but recently she’s been on my mind a lot. (Maybe it’s my age.) I tell my grandchildren about her and show them pictures. They love the one here, but the five-year-old just can’t wrap his mind around this beautiful young woman being his grandmother’s mom.  Would they like her? Charm her like my own daughter did in a way I never could?  Probably.

I also wonder what she would think of them. How would she respond to Bella’s obsession with Goosebumps?  Mom loved horror novels (especially Stephen King), and I expect Bella would cajole my mom into reading a little R.L. Stine. Then, there is five-year-old Connor’s non-stop-chattering. He’d set his sights on her, and I have no doubt he’d succeed in winning her over to his side of anything and everything. (I really do worry about the girls in his future.  He’s cute, he knows it, and he knows how to flirt.)

Eileen Broeker Van Wie

Even more than wishing she’d met her youngest great grandchildren, however, I wonder about her stories. I look at the young woman in this picture and realize I didn’t know her. She’s probably not yet twenty in this picture, and I was born when she was thirty. I know very little about her life before she had a husband and six children, except that she had a younger brother who died in infancy and so was an only child. (As a mature adult, she would still cry about missing her baby brother.) I also know she adored her own mother and was devastated when she passed away—again, as a mature adult. Other than that, I know nothing about her life before us—and it saddens me that I didn’t ask these questions while she was still here to answer them. Who was she as a child or teenager? Who were her friends, what did she enjoy doing, what were her life dreams?  I never asked, and as a story-teller, I should have. And now it’s too late.

Eileen and Peter Van Wie – 50th Wedding Anniversary

So, this year, Mother’s Day feels a little melancholy to me.  For those of you whose mothers still live, spend a little time and ask about her life, what she wanted and did before you came into her world. I don’t think you’ll regret it.  And if you want to share your stories or pictures here, feel free. I loved your Valentine Day stories and I’d like to hear about your moms.

Meanwhile, for all the moms out there, Happy Mother’s Day.

Pat Keelyn

Save

Posted in Memories, Siimple Thoughts | Leave a comment

A Romantic Valentine Day Date

Let me tell you about my most romantic Valentine Day date.

When my husband and I were dating, we lived in South Florida where the weather in mid-February is often lovely.

For our first Valentine Day together, he surprised me with a lovely evening. I got to his house after work, and he had fired up the hot tub in the backyard.  On a small tray next to the tub sat a bottle of Dom Perignon and two crystal champagne glasses.  I was immediately charmed.

However, he’d also ordered a catered finger-food meal from a nearby restaurant.

We spent the evening relaxing in the hot, bubbly water, sipping champagne while nibbling on shrimp cocktail, lobster chunks, crackers and cheese.  It might not have been the healthiest of menus, but it was good.

That night might have been why I fell in love with him. Well, maybe not completely, but it certainly helped.

So, tell me about your favorite – romantic, fun, disastrous (?)  — Valentine Day date and I’ll enter you in my $10 Amazon Gift Card drawing. Also, I’ll pick one scenario to include in my next book – with your permission, of course.

Pat Keelyn

Save

Save

Posted in Memories | 35 Comments

Happy New Year

Here’s wishing everyone a happy and healthy New Year.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

A Morning Memory

Sometimes the smallest things can remind us of someone we love and lost.

Every morning, I take the littles to school.  For anyone who hasn’t dropped off a kid at elementary school lately, let me tell you, the efficiency would make Disney World proud. Ten cars at a time pull up to one of three drop-off points where you’re met by someone (usually a teacher, volunteer, or older kid) who opens your car door and helps the children out.  Then you drive away and the next ten cars pull up. It’s really great.

Well . . .

For the last week, since it’s been so cold (don’t all my northeastern and Canadian friends laugh, 40 is cold in Texas), we’ve been met by dads. Yep. Dads. Some wearing “great dad” t-shirts over their coats or sporting “great dad” buttons.  They are friendly and helpful, and I drive away with tears in my eyes every morning.  Heck, I’m crying now just writing this.

You see, this is something my dad would being-a-great-dad-1024have done – either for us kids or his grandkids.  He was a great dad, and he’s been gone a while and usually . . . well, we all get on with our lives.  But for some reason, this makes me think of him every single morning.  We miss you dad.

So, now that I’m all bleary-eyed, what brings back memories of someone you’ve lost?

 

Save

Save

Posted in Siimple Thoughts | Leave a comment

What’s on your eReader?

Tell me what’s on your eReader for a chance to win an Amazon Gift Card.

I’m always looking for the next great read.  So, here is your chance to share what you’re amazon-gift-cardreading, get me to read it too, and win a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate.

Just post what you’re reading below during the month of December, and if I pick your recommendation, I’ll send you the gift certificate. IOW, convince me that what you’re reading is great.  That easy. So give yourself something for the holidays.

P.S.  If I get 25 comments, I’ll up the gift certificate to $25.

As for what I’m reading . . .

father-christmas-coverIf you’ve been following me for, well like, five minutes, you know that one of my all-time favorite romance authors is Judith Arnold.  Her books are consistently charming, well written, and populated with great characters.

So, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that I’m currently in the middle of yet another delightful Judith Arnold book:  Father Christmas. This is the second in the Daddy School books, and once again, I’m loving it. It’s the perfect book for the holidays.

Oh, and did I mention it’s on sale for .99.  Just click on the cover.

Enjoy the season and don’t forget to let me know what you’re reading.

Pat Keelyn

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Posted in Book Reviews | 113 Comments

What I’m Reading.

Basic RGBI just finished The Raven Boys, book one in Maggie Stiefvater’s Raven Cycle series.  Wow!

My good friend, Kathleen, recommended it, and I don’t think I’ve ever read one of her recommendations that I didn’t love. (She also introduced me to The Hunger Games, way before the movies came out.)

Here’s a synopsis from Maggie Stiefvater’s website.ravenboysone

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her. His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Gansey is different. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been told by her psychic family that she will kill her true love. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

So, what did I love about it?  It has both a great story and great writing, but the best part is the characters.  They are multi-dimensional and so different.  Loved, loved, loved it!

Anyone else?

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Posted in Book Reviews | 8 Comments

A Mother’s Day Tribute

I’ve been tempted more than once to write a character into one of my books who needs to be tortured or knocked off.  Admit it, we all have a person or two who’s crossed our path that we’d really like to  . . . well, kill off in a book.  So far, I’ve managed to resist the urge.

However, I’ve been getting some lovely reviews on Keeping Katie lately, and one in particular reminded me of a character that was modeled after a real person.   Here’s the review:

Personally I really liked this story. The main characters, Maura, Katie and Alan. There were also interesting secondary people too. Aunt Rita was such a loving, giving person and she just drew both Katie and Maura into her family. The story was kept my attention and there were several other subplots to the story swirling around too. It was an emotional  . . . with good people who were sure they were right. Black and white is what they saw, but the things that are going on cause them to begin to question just how true that was. Maura’s odd relationship with her father also added something to the story. Alan was a determined kind of guy, who I liked. He was also a strong but tender man at times. The romance was good, with Alan’s perception on how to handle Maura often hitting its mark. Maura was often torn about her decision to run with Katie and lying to people. But her main focus is to protect Katie.

I liked the dual P.O.V.’s from both Maura and Alan.

Rita and Me - Cruising

Cruising with Rita — early 2000’s

Nice, right?  But the part that warmed my heart was the sentence about Aunt Rita.  “Aunt Rita was such a loving, giving person and she just drew both Katie and Maura into her family.”

In the book, Aunt Rita was modeled and named after my mother-in-law, who was one of the best, kind-hearted women I’ve ever known. We lost her last year, but this review reminded me that she’ll always be with us.

So, the review made me happy, in more ways the one. And how fitting that it was posted on Mother’s Day.

Pat Keelyn

 

Posted in A Mother's Heart Series, Book Reviews, Keeping Katie | 4 Comments

Keeping Katie

For a limited time, get a copy of KEEPING KATIE free from AMAZON.  Just click on the banner below to go to Amazon.

FreeKK Offer April 16

Posted in Announcements, Keeping Katie, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Wild Thing by Judith Arnold

Wild ThingLove this series!

I just finished Wild Thing, the third book in Judith Arnold’s delightful series, The Magic Jukebox. I’ve enjoyed all three books, but Wild Thing may just be my favorite. If you’re looking for a smart, sexy, feel-good read that will make you smile, check out this series. I’d read them in order – but that’s just me.

Monica Reinhart is a good girl. A hometown girl. After college, she returned to Brogan’s Point to help run the family business, an oceanfront inn. She’s never done a wild thing in her life. When Ty Cronin sails into town, his wildness intrigues her. When the jukebox plays “Wild Thing,” that wildness infects her, and soon she finds herself doing things she never would have imagined. But Ty could be big trouble. She hardly knows him. She mustn’t trust him. Yet once she’s taken a walk on the wild side with him, how can she go back to being a good hometown girl?


TheMagic Jukebox Magic Jukebox sits in the Faulk Street Tavern in the quiet seaside town of Brogan’s Point, Massachusetts. No one knows what classic rock songs will come out of the jukebox when a coin is inserted, but every now and then, the jukebox will play a song that casts a spell on two bar patrons—a song that will change their lives and open their hearts to love.

 

The first two books in the series:  Changes and True Colors.

ChangesTrue Colors

Posted in Book Reviews | Leave a comment

Why A Mother’s Heart?

A Mother's Heart BannerSince releasing my new series, I’ve had numerous readers ask me about its origin.  IOW, why write about mothers in romance novels? So I thought I’d share my thoughts.

When I started writing romance, I never planned to write about mothers. It was only after I’d published quite a few books that I realized they weren’t just about romantic love; they were about families. Mothers. Fathers. Children. And all the wonderful messiness of family. (Even my suspense novels include children.) At first, that realization surprised me, but it probably shouldn’t have. I come from a large family—I was one of six kids—with an even larger extended family. Continue reading

Posted in A Mother's Heart Series, Pat's Books | Leave a comment