Monday, March 4, 2013

Happily Ever After

“And they all lived happily ever after.”

Have more wonderful words ever been written?  The happily ever after is one of the staples of romantic fiction.  It’s what first hooked me.  Not just the handsome prince sweeping the working girl away from her mundane life to live in a palace with him and dance the night away.  But that it would all last.  That once they got past that hard stuff, the stuff trying to keep them apart, that once they said “I love you” they could count on those feelings to be there forever.

The happily ever after is something my readers can always count on from me.  It’s what I want as a reader and it’s what I want to write as an author.  All of my characters mean forever when they say they love each other and I can promise that if you were to peek into their lives in years to come, they’d still be together, still working to be what the other one needs, still committed and still there for it all.

As a reader I do sometimes wish I could see favorite characters in the future.  Their story of falling in love is wonderful and I’ll read it again and again in some cases.  But do I wish I knew what their wedding had been like or how many kids they have?  Sure.  Do I think men who are protective and sweet—and maybe a little unsure at times—as dads are sexy?  Absolutely. 

Then I realized, as an author I could do it.  I could show those things.  I could make my romance heroes into husbands and dads.  I could show their relationships not just lasting, but growing. 

The Bradford series started with Just Right, the second book I ever published.  That means that every person who read that book was taking a chance on a pretty new author.  I had no idea that Just Right would lead to a five book series.  But I did know that I loved those characters.

So to thank those readers who took a chance on me and who got caught up in the stories of these people that I created, and because I also wanted to see what these guys and girls were like down the road, and just because I can… I wrote an epilogue to the series.

And it was one of the most fun things I’ve ever written.

If you haven’t read the series, you’ll be lost in this novella, I’ll admit. There are too many people and too much action to keep track if you don’t already know them.  But if you’ve read the series, I think you’ll enjoy seeing everyone again.  And if you haven’t… well, you can always start now.  I’d love for you to meet the Bradfords and their friends and true loves. 

I don’t actually end the books with “and they lived happily ever after”, but I promise you they do.

The Epilogue
A Bradford novella.

Expect the unexpected…especially when a Bradford is expecting

As family and friends gather to see Dooley and Morgan get married, anticipation is high—but no one saw this much excitement coming. A wedding that doubles as a baby shower, a limo that doubles as an ambulance, a hospital room that doubles as a honeymoon suite… Sure, why not? It’s a Bradford wedding, after all.

Dani’s in labor, Sam’s in a daze, Ben’s taking charge, Sara’s crying, Jessica’s got a secret, Dooley’s missing his honeymoon—in other words, things are crazy. As usual. But through it all they’ve got each other. As always.

Warning: An epilogue to the Bradford series (seriously, this is an epilogue, so keep that in mind) featuring all the couples, a wedding, a baby—or two—and donuts. Because you have to have donuts.


Eve knocked on the door to the dressing room. “Danika?” she called as she pushed the door open a moment later.

Dani wasn’t in the main sitting area, but the door to the tiny washroom was shut.
Eve debated about bothering her. Eve Campbell was the new girl. She’d known her husband’s group of friends and their women for a few months now that she and Kevin had gotten back together. All of his friends and their wives had shown up to see Kevin and Eve renew their vows. They’d had multiple dinners over the past several months. Dani was as nice and sweet as all the other girls. But of the four—Jessica, Dani, Sara and Morgan—Dani was the least likely to be fussing about her appearance.

For one, she had a natural beauty that didn’t need any makeup to shine through. For another, she was far more comfortable ruining her nails on a home do-it-yourself project than she was worrying about if her polish was the right shade, so Eve doubted Dani was primping. But that didn’t make the decision about bothering her or not any easier.

Eve turned to go, then thought about it again. Dani was going to be needed in the church soon.

She knocked on the bathroom door softly. “Dani?”


“Sam’s looking for you.”

There was a pause, then, “Okay.”

Eve heard the water run in the little bathroom, then another pause, then the door swung open and Dani gave her a big smile.

A really big smile.

“You okay?” Eve asked.

“Absolutely,” Dani said enthusiastically. “Definitely. I’m great.”

Yeah, that was really perky. Danika Bradford was a happy person by nature, but not someone Eve would describe as perky.

Eve narrowed her eyes. “Should I get Sam?” Did Dani get nervous being up in front of people? Maybe she was feeling fat. All the women looked gorgeous in the deep plum, floor-length halter dresses, but Dani was pregnant. Really pregnant. And she had to stand next to Sara. Next to Sara anyone would feel fat.

Dani pressed her lips together, like she was fighting to tone down the smile, and shook her head. “No, you can’t get Sam,” she said, the smile escaping in spite of her efforts.

Now Eve was really suspicious. Dani always wanted to be with Sam. And vice versa.

Eve crossed her arms. “Dani, what’s going on?”

“I just…um…”

“Are you sick?”

“Not exactly.”

“You’re not throwing up?”

“No. I’m…contracting.” She said it like Eve would expect her to say, “No. I won the lottery.” The smile was obviously real.

“You’re…” The word sank in and Eve felt her eyes grow wide as her gaze dropped to Dani’s belly. “Did you say contracting?”

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