Friday, November 7, 2014

Weekend Blog: The Inside Scoop on Love on Laird Avenue

The winners of Caskets and Corruption were: Path's Walker, and Nicole Metivier. Please contact me at with your email.  Thank you!

(Don't miss the giveaway at the end of the post!)

Blurb: Who said it would be easy for Tatum to leave her over-protective father, buy a 1911 bungalow, and start her own business at the same time? When things fall apart, literally, she hires a hunky home restoration specialist named Ryan to come to her rescue. She never dreamed he’d have his own ideas about protecting her...namely sabotaging her dates.

How It Began: I’ve learned a lot about Attention Deficit Disorder by living and working with individuals who deal with this issue. I’ve witnessed their talents and genius and helped them through their despair when others treat them like idiots.  I wanted to show just how talented and loveable people with ADD or ADHD can be. Heroes come in many sizes, shapes and labels.

Also when my husband and I got married, we fell in love with the home we are still in today.  However, there was much deception on the part of the previous owners.  For example, they hung a shower curtain and kept it closed when we went through the house and we assumed there was one.  Nope.  They had covered holes in the walls with pictures and disguised the smell of dead mice with apples and cinnamon cooking on the stove. Anyway, I thought it would be fun to write about renovating a house.

I love historical home tours so Laird Avenue came to mind.  It’s surprising how many people I have met who know all about Laird Avenue.  It’s been a fun connection. I did quite a bit of research and tours on the area, historical homes, and the Governor's Mansion. I also purchased a wonderful book called 100 Turn-of-the-Century Brick Bungalows with Floor Plans. I used one of the plans to make the house more real to readers.

Another fun aspect of Love on Laird Avenue was all the research I did about Prohibition.  Many real facts are included.

Premise: With each of my books, I always have a message in mind.  In Love on Laird Avenue the message is: Never give up!

“Jen, this house is my worst nightmare,” Tatum said, raging over the phone as she waded knee deep through piles of laundry on the back porch. “How could this tiny little two bedroom bungalow with one tiny little bathroom and less than one-fifth of an acre cost over six hundred thousand dollars?”

“It’s all about location, Tate.”

She tried to pull the door closed, but a pair of designer jeans was caught in the door jam. “Yes, I’ve heard of location, but have they heard of the Lemon Law?”

“It doesn’t apply to houses. I told you we should have taken more time to check the house out, but no…you had to have it. It was your dream home. Remember?”

Tatum sighed. “Don’t remind me. There’s no way I want to admit I made a mistake to my father. He’s like a lion ready to pounce, waiting to prove that I’ve screwed up by moving out on my own and starting my own business at the same time.” She pulled at the t-shirt sticking to her sweaty body and tried to cool herself. Somehow, now that it was her house, even the air conditioning didn’t work.

Most importantly, there weren’t enough outlets in the house and certainly not enough in the den to run the computer equipment for her business. Maybe she should have figured that out when the switches were the old-fashioned little circle buttons, but she hadn’t had time to worry about it. She wanted this house, and someone else would have snapped it up had she let them list it.

“Any luck finding a renovator to start on the place?” Jen questioned.

Tatum headed for the dining room and flopped down in a chair at the table, studying her notebook. “I must have made about thirty calls in the last couple of days. Everyone keeps referring me to a…a Ryan Bulldarren of Bulldarren Renovation Specialists. They say he’s the only one in the city who will touch these old walls unless I want to run all the new wiring on the outside and enclose it in metal casings like they do now. Yuck.” She wiped at the sweat dripping from the nape of her neck.

“Sounds to me like you better call him.”

“I can hear the dollars per hour zinging up just for the word specialist.” Tatum bit at her fingernail.

“Come on, Tate. You at least have to call him and find out.”

“I already have. At least nine times in the last two days. I keep leaving messages.” She sighed. “I’m doomed. I can’t keep using your computer system. I’m independent, remember?”


“Gotta go, Jen. Somebody’s at the door,” Tatum said, screeching off the sticky, wooden chair.

She flipped her phone closed and swung the front door open. The coolest drink of water she had ever seen stood before her. He was right off some hunky handyman calendar.

“Can…can I help you?” Tatum tried to stop her eyes from blinking in disbelief.

“I’m Ryan Bulldarren. Co-owner of Bulldarren Renovation Specialists.”

“But I never reached you. I never talked to you. We never actually spoke…or anything.”

“You left me twenty-one messages, all of them desperate, with your name, phone number and address. This is the soonest I could get here. I’ve even had other construction companies calling me to call you back so you’ll quit calling them.”

“Oh, sorry about that.” She looked down and played with the carpet fibers in the rug with her big toe. She desperately wanted to sneak another peek at his bulging muscles underneath his paint-stained t-shirt and his lean hips beneath his work-worn jeans. He’d obviously done a lot of physical work in his day. His skin had seen the sun; his calloused hands had earned their pay. His sky-blue eyes melted her insides, and she curbed her desire to run her hands through his curly chocolate-brown hair. She kept her vision focused on a single fiber in the rug.

She heard him clear his throat.

“Ms. Stewart?”

“What?” she asked, still studying the floor.

 “I…uh…do you think I could come in and take a look at the job?”

“Oh, excuse me. I was distracted by an earlier phone call. Please, come in.” She had to focus on the job. After all, her house was crumbling around her ears. She needed outlets in practically every room, the air-conditioning didn’t work and something was wrong with the plumbing.

“As I said on the phone, I need a bid on putting in outlets in my den, which I’m converting to my office. I just moved here, and I’m trying to start my own computer consulting business.” She pulled her clinging t-shirt away from her chest and flapped it to cool herself. “It’s not part of renovating, but do you think you could look at my cooling system?”

Ryan backed his way to the door. “Uh…I’ll…I’ll have an estimate to you about the outlets as soon as I can.”

“But you didn’t even go in the den.”

“How many outlets did you need?”

“At least four,” she yelled as he was slamming the door.

That was strange.

Review: This author has done a fine job of offering readers a plot that's filled with fun, plus a bull mastiff puppy that you will never forget.  This story has some extremely funny and heart-warming scenes.  Although this is a very tender romance, the plot also serves up some surprises.  4/5 Stars, RT Book Reviews, Amy Lignor

Giveaway:  I will select 2 winners for a PDF copy of Love on Laird Avenue.
If you truly like my writing, like my Amazon page or add me as a FAVORITE and then leave a comment here.  If you don’t leave your email, please check back here for the winners by next Friday.

Cindy A. Christiansen
Sweet Romance, Humor, Suspense...and Dogs! 
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