Three quotes from very different books #MFRWauthor

Today on our blog hop, we’re talking about favorite quotes from books. I have a collection! I keep them in a little journal with a ribbon marker and elastic band closure. The journal was made by Peter Pauper Press, and it’s about my favorite blank book. The paper quality is delicious! Much thicker than other brands, and there’s no bleeding if you use felt pens. (I’m an office supply junkie. Goes hand in hand with being a writer!) So I can write all my favorite snippets on these archival pages and never worry about bleeding or fading.

In any case, many of my favorite book quotes end up being either about writing or about romance or about motivation. Sometimes about more than one! Here are just a few.

“But the lines were enough. She had only to utter them. They created the character in spite of her.”

~ from My Antonia by Willa Cather, one of my absolute favorite books

I love that quote because it reminds me not to stress out too hard about the characters as I write them. If I’ve done my groundwork and I know who these people are, then I can write them as they are. The lines are enough, and I have only to write them.

“Every blade of grass has its Angel that bends over it and whispers, ‘Grow, grow.'”

~ from The Talmud

I have lots of angels, people who have taught me things, opened up to me, given me a boost when I needed it. Even when things are tough, there are angels whispering to us. We all have our angels! Look around you — you’ll spot yours!

“[I]n any fiction, no matter how ambitious its scope or profound its theme, there was only ever room for three players. Between warring kings, a peacemaker; between adoring spouses, a seducer or a child. Between twins, the spirit of the womb. Between lovers, Death.”

~ from Imajica by Clive Barker

This is an important reminder that what comes between characters is the engine that drives the story. I first read this book on an airplane, and I remember being so struck by the first paragraph (which develops this idea in detail), that over and over during the flight, I turned back to re-read it. It just made me keep thinking about the way that even abstractions can come between characters and keep them from connecting as we would like them to. But if everything was smooth and happy, where would the story be? We read because we want to see people jump over their hurdles.

What are some of your favorite quotes?

I’m the top October blogger at!

Here’s something fun!


Look at those pretty pink stones! I admit to being a girly girl and liking pink a little more than I should. In fact, if you ever see me in person, chances are I’ll be wearing pink or red, my favorites! So this lovely virtual necklace coordinates perfectly with the real me.

Thank you so much to the Romance Lives Forever blog for inviting me to visit them. And thank you for naming me the top October blogger!


Daring Sarah is now on pre-order sale for only 99 cents!

Guys, guys, guys! I’m so excited! Daring Sarah is up for pre-order on Amazon for only 99 cents! 

This book is one of my favorite things I’ve ever written. Sarah really spoke to me as a character. Her heartbreak was so powerful at the beginning of the book, and I just wanted to keep writing and keep writing so that she could have the happy ending she deserved. It was my job — my duty! — to help her come out of her shell of widow’s grief and open up to life again. After you read it, you can tell me whether I got the job done!

DS ebook cover

The benches at the zoo

In Teacher’s Pet, one pivotal scene takes place on a bench at the Lincoln Park Zoo. This is a free municipal zoo in Lincoln Park, right across Lake Shore Drive from North Avenue Beach. It’s a nice little zoo, and on any pleasant day, you can spot plenty of nannies with their charges wandering between school groups and tourists.

The scene at the zoo starts at the seal exhibit, a popular spot in the center of the zoo. From there, Audrey, Cole, and a couple of surprise visitors move to a nearby bench. As I was writing the scene, I kept thinking about all the benches scattered throughout this zoo that would serve the purposes of this scene. There are long rows of slat benches near the smaller African animals.

zoo bench one

There is a sunny matching slat bench on a pavilion overlooking the waterfowl gardens — I’m a big fan of the flamingoes!zoo flamingo

But some of my favorite benches are near the farm animals and petting zoo — giant slabs of rock that aren’t very cozy, but the kids can’t resist them!

zoo bench 3

So now, when you read that scene, you can see the bench where Audrey has an important conversation with the surprise visitors!


The scene on the Navy Pier Ferris Wheel

navy pier ferris wheel

When I decided to write romance novels set in Chicago, I knew that sooner or later, I would have to include a scene on the Ferris Wheel on Navy Pier. The Ferris Wheel was invented in Chicago — did you know that? A man named (you guessed it!) Ferris invented it for the Columbia Exposition in 1893, and they even used to call the Chicago wheels instead of Ferris wheels.

So in Teacher’s Pet, Dennis and Audrey meet at Navy Pier and take Dennis’s son Cole for a ride on the big wheel. Here’s a little taste of what happens in that scene.


The car inched smoothly higher. Dennis found it hard to concentrate on anything but the smile flitting around Audrey’s lips and the warmth of her arm against him.

“Where’s our house?” Cole asked. “I want to see our house.”

Dennis examined the north shore. A tall building blocked the view of their apartment, but the gondola swayed up a notch.

Dennis said. “There. Behind the one with the blue light on the roof.”

“I can’t see it!” Cole complained, so Dennis pointed. “Oh, there it is.”

“Where?” Audrey asked.

It was all the excuse Dennis needed. He wrapped his arm around her and pulled her snug against his body, then he leaned close to rest his cheek against hers. Her skin was soft, softer even than Cole’s. He resisted the urge to nuzzle his beard shadow against that smooth cheek.

He lifted his other arm and tried to point out his apartment along her sight line.

“There,” he whispered. His voice felt thick in his throat.

She held perfectly still. He couldn’t even feel her breathing. The warm skin of her cheek caressed his as the car bobbled higher.

“Oh,” she said, the word a long breath.

He turned toward her head, and his lips grazed that tender spot where her cheek met her lips. He almost groaned with the desire to kiss her. To really kiss her.

Turn to me. Kiss me.

Woohoo! Party time! Launch day!

Today, Teacher’s Pet is available wherever books are sold. I’m so excited!

This is the very first romance novel I ever wrote, many years ago. It has a complicated history involving many editors and revisions — writers know this kind of sad story, but it’s not one that readers often hear. An editor liked it well enough to ask for a few changes. This is usually a good sign as they don’t waste time trying to revise a book unless they think they might publish it. I made the changes and sent it in, and the editor switched jobs. She still liked the book, so we made some more changes that might make it work better for the editor’s new acquisition duties. And then the editor quit working in publishing altogether, a new editor came on board, and the new editor asked for extra time to evaluate the manuscript. More time passed, more things changed at the publishing house, and more changes were requested to reflect new goals.

And it Just. Kept. Happening. Fast-forward (I should say slow-forward!) so many years — so many years, you guys — and the book is finally available to readers today.

This is a really common scenario, and all I can say is Whew! I’m really excited to have this one done! I hope people enjoy it!

Kayla Drake_TP Ebook Cover_Final_