Romance author Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy

Romance author Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy

Sunday, January 13, 2013

For Love Or Money - and a sneak peek into the Heart of the Ozarks

For Love Or Money


            My grandmother, a storyteller in her own right, gave me many old-fashioned phrases along with life advice, love, and some heritage.  She often would use the phrase ‘for love or money’ and it’s one which stuck in my head.  These days, with my lifelong dreams of being an author realized and I find myself chasing to keep up the pace, I’m often asked why do I write? Is it for love of the craft or for the money?

            The honest answer is – both.  I love to write.  I’m blessed or cursed depending on how it’s viewed.  I made up stories in my head as long as I can remember.  I applied early stories to my baby dolls or my Barbies.  I talked siblings and cousins into elaborate scenarios.  We didn’t just play ‘house’.  My version involved wagon trains and westward expansion, a variation I called ‘western days’.  I had another in which our actions happened in the past I dubbed ‘olden days’, easy enough since we all lived in vintage houses at the time.  I made up others like “Story of a Slave Girl” in which I danced with abandon to music on the record player (yes, I’m that old) while at least one male relative reclined to watch my antics in his role as the sheik, king, or prince.

            I probably wasted too much time in school from primary grades through colleges because I often scribbled stories if the classroom activities failed to capture my attention.  Even now, I see inspiration in almost everything – a flock of geese overhead (which I’ve seen two days in a row and it’s very early to see such in August round these parts), an overheard phrase, a lovely sunrise, or anything.  But it’s the mind set I have, a brain which wants to turn everything into a story, long or short.  Although I’ve only entered the world of novels as an author in the past two years, I’ve written for most of my life.  Some of it was published in a variety of magazines, journals, newspapers and online venues and some wasn’t.

            `Would I do it for free? No.  I wouldn’t.  While many folks these days have decided I am bloody, filthy rich because I have books out in the world, I’m not.  I’m actually a long way from it.  Heck, I don’t even have what I consider complete financial security.  How much would it take for me to feel rich or secure? I don’t know – but I would love to determine the answer.  Writing has become my business and it generates income.  I just received royalties this past week and yes, those royalties helped pay for some needed school supplies for my kids, office supplies to keep my cottage industry going and some groceries to keep the family fed.  But rich? Excuse me while I roll on the floor laughing with a pile of bills in my hand.

            So I write both for love of the craft, a love of story and also for money.

            Because after all, authors have to eat, put shoes on their kids feet even in the Ozarks, keep a roof overhead and have a little fun once in awhile.



After St. Louis TV weathercaster Cole Celinksi loses his almost estranged wife and three children in a car crash, his boss orders him to take a leave of absence.  Against his will, Cole leaves the city in late May to find the rest and relaxation everyone else thinks he needs. Without anywhere else to go, Cole heads for Lake Dreams, a resort on the quiet side of Lake Taneycomo in the Ozarks he visited each summer as a child with his grandparents.  Some of his best memories were made in the lakeside vacation haven with his summer friend, Maggie.

Upon his arrival, Cole learns Maggie now runs the place.  Twenty years have passed but from the minute he returns, they reconnect and soon their mutual attraction ignites.  He fishes in the lake, takes Maggie to visit some of the places he remembers and begins to find out who he truly is. Before he can heal, he must learn to deal with his loss and to see if he can create a new family with Maggie and her children. It’s a task he’s not sure he can handle but if he wants to be with Maggie, he must. A near tragedy brings them all together into a close knit unit and afterward, Cole may be able to make his dreams reality.


            “Then start with tonight,” she breathed, an invitation if he’d ever heard one.

            He took three steps and enveloped her in his arms, very aware of just how little she wore.  Cole leaned down and connected his mouth to hers.  Her lips molded to his, warm and sweet and her arms wrapped about his neck to draw him even closer.  Desire, as electric as lightning, flared between them and although he ached to hurry, Cole decided to go slow and savor the experience.

            So he kissed her with precision, with lingering anticipation and evoked a response he liked.  Cole craved more so he lowered his lips from her mouth to throat where he nibbled with delicate little bites.   By the way she moaned and moved, he thought she liked what he did.  Cole enjoyed it too.  Each little taste propelled shivers through him, each one like a shuddering chill but with a physical pleasure rocking him hard.   The flavor of her night sweat tasted salty against his tongue but he savored the she-woman aroma he inhaled even more.  

            Cole lowered the straps of her nighty so he could kiss her shoulder and brush the freckles there with his mouth.  Maggie shivered and without knowing quite how, he stripped the gown from her body.  The thin cotton fell to the kitchen floor as he cupped her full, lovely breasts in both hands.  “Beautiful,” he whispered as he put his mouth over one nipple and suckled just enough to make it bloom, hard and tight.  Maggie whimpered as he did and the sound of her pleasure intensified his.  His fingers caressed the flat smoothness of her abdomen, the slight curve of her lower belly.  Against his rough fingertips her skin’s softness seemed as fragile as cobwebs but beneath the veneer her body heat burned.   If he didn’t know better, he’d swear she had a fever but this heat wasn’t from illness.  This fire came from internal combustion.

            He fingered the soft curly hair above her cunt with the same reverence he would show for something precious but it wasn’t until her fingers jerked at the zipper of his jeans Cole remembered he still wore clothing.   He wanted them off now and yearned to be skin to skin with Maggie so after she unzipped his pants he kicked them off with one swift motion.  When she hooked the edge of his briefs with one hand his heartbeat increased until the beats made a staccato rhythm in his chest.  Maggie pulled them down and he stepped out of them, sure she’d hear the wild drumming of his heart.

            Cole’s already hard cock stiffened more when Maggie grasped it with one hand and squeezed with just the right amount of pressure.  At the rush of sheer physical rapture she caused he thought he’d fall down on the floor with the wave of response but instead he managed to pull off his khaki shirt, tearing away at least two of the buttons in the process.  He heard them ping against the kitchen floor but he didn’t care.  He owned other shirts and if necessary, Cole figured he might be able to sew them back on anyway. 

            Maggie pressed against him, hand still cupping his cock and he almost ejaculated too soon at the sensation of her skin against his, even more erotic than he’d imagined.  She raked her nails down his back at the same time and Cole groaned aloud.

            “Like that?” Maggie said, a grin emerging from the look of rapture on her face.

            “Love it,” he managed to spit out.  Need roared within until he decided the hell with going slow.  He’d savored all he could stand now he’d feast.  Cole backed Maggie up against the kitchen table, lifted her ass enough to make her cunt accessible and entered her with a sudden, sharp thrust.  He plunged in deep and cried aloud wordlessly as her tight box fit around him.  The first of the spirals began, circles of carnal delight radiating out from where they joined to consume him with intense pleasure.  Maggie clung to him as if he were a life preserver out on a turbulent lake and made small sounds he found gratifying.  She gasped and then shrieked like a banshee.  Her outcry brought him over the edge and into the starburst of passion, the ultimate come experience. 

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