Monday, August 26, 2013

I dare you to get sexy with a cherry popsicle! Any ideas? #romancechat #asmsg

I DARE you to get creative with a cherry popsicle, people! My mind immediately comes up with some sexy fantasies, how about you? When I think of popsicles of any kind, I smile because of memories of laid back summer days.  Please share what you think of when it comes to popsicles and summer fun. 
Today I'm thrilled to host fellow Siren-Bookstrand author, Marsha R West, who's sharing a delicious post about popsicles, indulging us with a taste of her newest novel "Vermont Escape", and tempting us with a wonderful giveaway (details below). Enjoy! Oh, and I expect to see some sexy ideas on what YOU would do with a cherry popsicle besides licking it from top to bottom. Ha. Welcome, Marsha! 

Today is National Cherry Popsicle Day. Here in Texas it’s still hot as blazes, and there’s nothing much better than a Popsicle (of any flavor) on a day like this. I grew up with popsicles, did you? I can hear the music of the truck turning the corner. I remember rushing around the house to find the precious coins and standing in line to buy the frozen delectable treat. For the life of me, I can’t remember how much those were way back then. We didn’t have much money, and I didn’t get to have one every time the truck came buy. Anybody remember?

One time I was visiting my cousins in South Carolina and a truck came rumbling down the street, its bells ringing a cheery sound. We grabbed our coins and dashed outside. My cousins convinced me to try an aqua colored frozen delight. Now this is my favorite color in almost all of its variations. Even when I was a small child, the blue-green crayon was the one I’d grab first. The flavor of this turquoise frozen ice on a stick was like something magical. Do any of you remember eating that particular popsicle? What was the flavor?

You’ll notice I’ve skipped entirely over the “cherry” part of this day. Not intentionally. Sometimes I just get a bit stream-of-conscience in my writing. LOL  I have nothing against a cherry popsicle. As a child, I found it worked as well a lipstick, which I was, of course, forbidden to use. Isn’t the cherry Life Saver the one you go for first? And what about cherry cobbler? That’s especially yummy. Some folks prefer peach, which is very good, but like apple, cooks can mess up the spices on those two. I hate it when that happens. I generally avoid apple cobbler or pie because I hate to be disappointed. Don’t think you can mess up cherry cobbler.

When my kids were young, not having a popsicle truck in our neighborhood, I made the girls pops with Kool-Aid and froze them in the freezer. Not sure they were as good as those I remember from my childhood, but my daughters loved them. I find it interesting to note that ice cream trucks are making a comeback. This surprises me. I’d think more people would see them as a threat to kids’ safety. A source for predators to use to identify and stalk kids who didn’t have an adult near and one who was paying close attention. Maybe I see it that way because I write romantic suspense. I walk in the mall and see where a sniper could hide. (That’s the downside to my writing. LOL)

This is all I can wring out of this topic. Some days have two special things that are recognized, but today it was just cherry popsicles. And it so doesn’t mesh with title of this blog which raises images of all sorts of delicious intrigue. What can I say? Today is what it is. Hope you will stop by and share your experiences with popsicles, cherry or otherwise, ice cream trucks, and recognizing special days. Love to chat with you. 

"Vermont Escape" blurb...
It’s been two years since Jill Barlow’s husband was murdered. Being attracted to someone new isn’t what she expected when, after her father’s recent murder, she fled to Vermont.

A terrifying series of break-ins shatter the peace she’d sought. Jill shields her adult children from knowing the gambling syndicate will kill again for the damming evidence she possesses.

With the lives of family and friends at stake, will Jill be required to make even more sacrifices?

Warning: This title is intended for readers over the age of 18 as it contains adult sexual situations and/or adult language, and may be considered offensive to some readers.

A taste...
Jerrod waited in the Woodstock Inn library, pretending to read. He couldn’t stop thinking how Jill had hung up on him. Click. The noise rang in his ears. Her voice had been just-woke-up-croaky when she first spoke. It wasn’t until the end of the conversation she hit her I’m-awake-and-in-charge-tone.


He glanced up and rose. The magazine fell to the table. Jill wore black pants and a matching long-sleeved sweater hinting at curves. For such a small person, she had a great build.

“Sorry to keep you waiting.” She raised her chin just a touch. Every bit the lady and no trace of a hoarse voice.

Her hair was pulled back into the low ponytail she seemed to favor. Simple gold hoops hung from her ears. She wore no rings and only a watch on her left wrist. Nothing flashy about her. Used to judging potential jurors, it only took seconds for him to take in the whole package. His groin  tightened. What the hell?

He had trouble finding words. Finally, he said, “No problem.”

“Let’s get something to drink, and then we can talk.” She led the way to the Solarium where they both ordered coffee.

Jerrod settled into one of the large leather wingbacks in the library. Jill sat on the edge of the chair next to him. He stared at her rose-colored lips when she took a tentative sip and her throat when she swallowed. He jerked his gaze away.

“I’m sure you must be busy. Why did you ask to meet? Frankly, I’ve had the feeling I’m not one of your favorite people.”

Well, she was honest about some things. “Let me apologize again for my behavior.”

“Apology accepted. Now what do you want to discuss?”

The woman was all business. Jerrod leaned forward, his hands clasped between his knees. “I don’t want you to buy Crystal Rainbows.” Her eyelids batted the way they would if a gnat attacked. Before she could respond, he went on. “I know who you are.”

Color drained from her face. Her hand trembled when she set down her cup. “Well, of course you know who I am.” Her words came out in a rush. “Your mother introduced us.”

Her voice rose to higher pitch than normal. He gave her credit for attempting the bluff.

“Did you assume no one would check up on you?”

She hopped up at his words, paced in front of the chairs. He went on. “You’ve had an interesting couple of years.” He stood, stepped in front of her. “Did you leave Texas because you killed your husband and father?”

The sting from her hand slapping his jaw stunned him. He never saw it coming. She spun around and brushed past startled guests. She had quite a swing on her. He rubbed his face, and then rushed after her.

By the time he got to the stairs, she’d reached the bottom and pushed open the door. She headed for the gardens behind the inn.

No way out that direction, sweetheart.

The air cooled his stinging cheek. His beard helped cushion the blow, but she’d let him have it. Halfway across the gardens, he caught up to her, grabbed her arm, and pulled her around in front of him. Pain-filled eyes and streaming tears grabbed his heart, but he held on. After fumbling for a handkerchief, he offered it, and she swiped at her face.

“Let go of me.” She spat the words between clenched teeth. Struggled to pull away.

Jerrod tightened his grip and shepherded her toward the back part of the gardens to benches under tall oak trees. He needed privacy. When they reached the secluded grotto, he released her but blocked the path to the inn.

“What do you want with me?” Her breath hitched, and she rubbed her arm where he’d held her.

“Damn. I didn’t mean to hurt you.”

“Are you—are you going to kill me?” She backed away, her gaze darted around. Probably looking for a way to escape. She put the bench between them, her arms extended in supplication. “Please, don’t hurt my kids. I’ll do whatever you want, if you leave them alone. I beg you.”

About the author...
Marsha R. West, a retired elementary school principal, is also a former school board member and theatre arts teacher. She writes romantic suspense, where experience is required. Her heroes and heroines, struggling with life and loss, are surprised to discover second chances at love.

Marsha, lives in Texas with her supportive lawyer husband. They’ve raised two daughters who’ve presented them with three delightful grandchildren. She admits to being at the beck and call of two dogs, who run her home. She loves to travel and sometimes those places wind up as a setting in her books.

She’s currently editing her latest work in progress and enjoying the experience of her first book launch. 

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Susan Bernhardt said...

My childhood memory of Popsicles is very different from yours, Marsha. My older brother had come home from four years in the army. He was stationed in Korea. He laid in the sun in our backyard, after he returned, baking in the sun the entire summer on a lawn chair. He would give me money to go to the store on my bike to buy Popsicles for the two of us to share.

He had a lot to think about. That autumn, he started college to become a social studies high school teacher.

Susan Bernhardt

Helena Fairfax said...

Lovely post, Marsha, and I enjoyed your comment, too Susan. My memories are also slightly different. Here in the UK we call posickles ice-lollies, and we have ice-cream vans, but they make just the same cheery sound as your trucks. I too remember running out with my brother on the days when there was enough money for an ice-lolly. Happy memories! Thanks for the cheerful reminder :)

Marsha said...

My goodness, Susan. What a totally different and powerful memory. Thanks for sharing. I hope your brother has gone on to create many happier memories.Thanks for his service to our country and to his work in schools. :)

Marsha said...

Ice-lollies! What a delightful term, Helena. I like it better than our term. Thanks so much for stopping by.

Unknown said...

What a different post. I really enjoyed reading it. Oh yeah, this brings back so many memories.

The book sounds lovely. I too believe in second chances.

J.Q. Rose said...

Ice lollies is a delightful sounding word for a popsicle treat. (Now word nerd that I am, I'm going to have to look up the origin of lollipop.) Lucky you having an ice cream truck in the neighborhood. I was reared in a small rural town. My favorite icy treat was those orange cream push ups. Cute memories, Marsha. Best wishes on your new release!