Road Trip! Kind of.

I have visitors so I will be going on a short little road trip. My radio silence is because my visitors are already here, but I’m hoping to pop on every once in a while because the voice inside my head won’t be stilled (a good thing, despite how it might sound) and that voice always likes to know if you, in turn, like what she’s talking about. Forget about me, it’s all about the voice! 😉

I’ll try to post pictures as I travel. If I don’t post them here, check out my instagram feed.

Thanks as always. And thanks to those of you who’ve just started following me. I’ll be by shortly to visit you! 🙂


K is for Kill Devil Hills

Look at me! I got my story done early today! Woohoo! 🙂

BTW, all of these stories have been fiction. While I may steal one bit from my own life, as writers tend to do, these have all been fictionalized accounts. Thank you as always for reading. If you want me to pop by and read a particular posting in your blog, please put the link in the comments and I’ll be there. Happy Thursday, y’all!


That Boy of Summer

There are rules to summers in a beach town:

Grocery shop at odd hours. Continue reading

Exchange Student I

Exchange Student is a completed story (now). You can read all of the sections here. This story is in the process of being rewritten. I will post a link to the completed project in April 2017. Thanks!

I was an exchange student who felt the weight of homesickness, so far away from my sleepy beach town and even my University in the States. England felt cold, damp, the people distant and judging. As we progressed toward winter the sun seemed to hover just at the horizon, never moving too far into the sky and the day seemed to end at 3 pm. I felt myself begin to turn inward, not knowing how to deal with this cold climate and the cliquish nature of the people around me.

My sister called on one particularly grim afternoon laced with darkness and rain and dared me to go to the nearest pub. “What’s the worst that could happen?”

I hung up thinking, she would never know whether I went or not, but then again, somehow she would.

I pulled on my insulated slicker and headed down the three blocks to the pub trying not to mind the rain or the chill that embraced me far too intimately. I hadn’t been before because I thought they might be too much like the bars at home, dark and cold and someplace where a girl like me could feel ultimately lost.

As I entered, viewed the fire roaring at the center, the warm brick and wood, the laughing chatter of accented voices, I thought for the first time that maybe I had been missing out.

There was an old man in a wheelchair, an oxygen tube hooked to his nose, sipping on a pint of stout. There was a lovely blonde with blushed cheeks leaning against a boy in a leather jacket, his chestnut hair curly and dark around his head. Three women, bright cheeked from drink, sat and giggled, at intervals throwing their heads back and laughing, then pausing with fingers over their lips as if they had indiscreetly allowed something to slip.

I watched and wondered if somehow I could become this.

While I hadn’t been indoctrinated, I knew I needed to put in an order at the bar and then find a table. I stared at the labels on the taps, what was a bitter? Bitter. It didn’t sound very nice. I chose a nut brown.

“Where you from, luv?” the bartender asked, his blue eyes dancing.

“North Carolina,” I said.


I nodded and smiled, barely able to keep his gaze.

“Might have to visit if the birds look like you,” he said.

I blushed and smiled at the unexpected complement.

I sat at a table near the fire, but I looked at everyone around me. I wanted to be part of this, all of these people living, laughing, drinking, enjoying.

He approached without me noticing and he sat at my table without asking. “You’re new here,” he said. He had grayish blue eyes that to me felt as if they absorbed emotion. They reminded me of a stormy sea, but his face, his full lips seemed kind, gentle.

“I’m an exchange student,” I said, watching him carefully.

He leaned back and fingered the coaster in front of him, twirling it between his fingers, with practiced ease. He watched it and then raised his eyes to mine. “From America?”

I nodded.

He grinned. “I thought you might be from Ireland.”

I raised an eyebrow.

“You seem a little quiet for an American,” he said. “The American girls usually are giggly and loud.”

I shrugged. “We’re not all like that.”

“Obviously,” he said. “What are you studying?”

I hesitated because I knew that someone like him would find this amusing. “Drama.”

His eyes brightened. “Really?”

I nodded and looked away from his brilliant eyes to my drink.

“You’re an actress,” he asked.

I nodded again and then raised my eyes to look at him. My heartbeat quickened. He was spectacular to look at. His eyes were bold, but together with his full lips, he was the most sensual boy I had ever seen. His look was something beyond me. In my town, there were no boys who looked like this. There were the pretty boys and the athletic boys, but there were no boys who imbued the air with sensuality. This was not an American quality. I stared at him a bit longer than I should and then lowered my gaze, wondering what, if anything, he thought about me.

“You’re at Uni?” he asked.

I nodded.

“Are you going to do the town showcase?”

I shook my head. “No. I don’t think so. I haven’t been here long enough.”

“You must,” he said. “People get discovered that way. I’m just signing up. We should sign up together.”

And, I could find no reason to say no, especially to those eyes.

end 3/1/2017

S. Darlington

Review of Crazy Love


Crazy Love by Lee Kilraine

Publisher: Kensington Lyrical Shine

Publication Date: October 11, 2016

Lulubelle Swan lost her high school sweetheart, Joe, the boy she’d known since 3rd grade, three years ago when he died in Afghanistan. She’d never thought about loving anyone else and she can’t move on. She sees a picture of Joe’s sergeant, he’s smiling and seems to be having a normal life, and decides to track him down to see how he’s been able to move on.

Tynan Cates hires Lu Swan for his construction crew despite the fact that it’s obvious that she doesn’t know the slightest thing about construction. He presumes she’s running away from something or someone and as has been his trademark lately, he can’t say “no” to someone who needs help so he hires her.

I really, really, really enjoyed this book. I loved the main characters, Lu, who is quirky, and Tynan, who is probably as yummy as the chocolate cake described in the novel. I enjoyed the banter. Several scenes had me laughing-out-loud. While I was supposed to fall in love with the town of Coldwater Cove in the last book that I reviewed and didn’t because the town and characters were sugar-coated, I did fall in love with Climax, North Carolina. These characters in Crazy Love felt more like real people. And the Cates brothers! Whoa!

Besides the parallel of both novels occurring in small towns, both novels included vets as the heroes. Although I liked the character of Jake, I loved Tynan. Lee Kilraine didn’t play the sympathy card on him. She made him sound real. The third parallel involved homeless pets and, again, it just seemed that Kilraine got this right too. Houdini, Tynan’s three-legged dog, is a character onto himself, especially when he adopts his own cat that rides on his back.

I realize that Lu could have just initiated a conversation with Tynan instead of pretending to be a construction worker, but it felt like Lu wasn’t capable of dealing with the topic of Joe point-blank. My opinion could be wrong. But certainly there would have been far fewer laughs if Lu hadn’t taken up a nail gun and 2 x 4s.

There was one thing that I’m glad didn’t happen. So often I’ve read novels in which the love of the heroine’s life has died. For some reason, the author finds it necessary to show the dead love as having clay feet or the heroine finds out that he was fooling around or whatever, I guess so that the hero looks better in comparison. Kilraine didn’t do that with Joe in this book. Lu’s memory of Joe was never tarnished. Yay for Kilraine!

Besides some hilarious scenes, there were some that brought tears to my eyes. The climax was eventful and well done. Except for a glitch at the beginning, which hopefully was corrected in editing, the writing was very good.

If you are in need of a romance with laughs, a combustible couple, and a well-done story, I highly recommend  Crazy Love. It goes on sale on October 11, 2016.

This is the third novel in the Cates Brothers series. I’m off to find the other two.

From AmazonCrazy Love

rating: butterflybutterflybutterflybutterflyladybug (4 butterflies and a ladybug out of 5 butterflies!)


Southern Shores, NC, USA

The song that was playing constantly…and I loved it: Don’t Let Me Down by The Chainsmokers.

Traveling: sky on the stop for lunch, Faithful Companion Scout ready to travel, Faithful Companion Scout loves cheeseburgers with no condiments!


Afternoon thunderstorm brings rainbows.

Out and about in the neighborhood.

At the beach. Hot, warm ocean, relaxing!

August 2016.