Stephanie J Grace is the sweeter alter ego of romance and erotica writer, Stephanie Beck. The ‘J and Grace’ are nods to my beautiful daughters Joy and Grace.
The cat storyline in Felines and Flowers actually happened in one of my dearest friends’ family. On the way to a wedding, one of the brothers lost their hat out their truck window. When they went to get it, a feral cat attacked him. I’ve seen the pictures...they are amazing.
The flower storyline is very personal to me. After my first daughter was born, both my mother and mother-in-law brought me plants instead of cut flowers. Both plants were dead within two weeks. In better news, my daughter has made it over 6 years under my care! Kids and animals do great with me, plants, however, still fear me.
Sometimes I like to pretend that I’m really good at drawing and then start sketching what my characters look like and what they see when they look out their windows. I even break out my color pencils and fancy paper. Much like when my urges to plant something in my flowerbeds arise, I’ve learned not to expect the results to match what’s in my head.
I’ve decided to stay twenty-six for a few years. I’m content at this age. I can vote, drive, drink, rent a car and my car insurance has leveled out at a more reasonable rate. I really see no real reason to claim any more years. But I will happily continue having birthdays :) with the hopes that one day my husband throws me a huge party with a giant red velvet cake in the shape of my knitting bag complete with balls of yarn, chocolate knitting needles and fondant socks.
Excerpt from :
Felines and Flowers
Available July 29, 2011
During high school, Warren was just Wendy’s youth pastor. All grown up and shepherding over her own flock of church kids, Wendy Miller turns to her old friend for help. Not that Warren is that old. In fact, the two have a lot more in common than Wendy would have ever thought.
After the death of his wife, Warren was sure he was finished with relationships. Wendy changes that forgone conclusion with her bright spirit and zest for life. Lining up their desires when they’re at very different points in their lives proves a challenge that might take a little divine intervention, or at least help from friends.
Wendy ran her hand over the soft fabric and groaned out loud. There was someone she’d been trying hard not to think about. It was completely inappropriate. And yet…Warren. And he was Warren. She didn’t think about him as Pastor Carmichael anymore, and while that felt weird, it also seemed right. She hoped. A perfectly nice sweatshirt she’d had since high school hung in front of her, but Wendy grabbed the sweater. If things were going to happen, it wasn’t going to be because of a sweater.
Or because of the little bit of makeup she put on nor the extra five minutes she spent on her hair. Walking to the church, she kicked herself a little. Maybe she was being obvious. Maybe Warren still thought of her as a nice kid instead of an adult. Maybe he wasn’t over his wife. Maybe—
“Hey, Wendy, can I give you a ride the last few blocks?”
She turned to see Warren’s car pulled up beside the sidewalk. Coincidence had never been so fortuitous. Wendy walked to Warren’s car, a decent, older model in good shape. She laughed on the inside because she could say the same things about its owner.
Wendy leaned on the window frame. “Well, are you sure it wouldn’t be any trouble?”
When he grinned, she believed she couldn’t be alone in these new feelings. Whatever sparked between them was unlike anything she’d ever experienced. It also made her want to grin just like Warren.
“No trouble at all, lady. Come on in. We can plot on how to present a united front.”
She got into the car and buckled her belt. “Oh, an ally. I like that. As the new girl on staff I sometimes get the pat on the head treatment.”
“Shoot, I’ve been on staff for nearly two decades and still get treated like the new kid on occasion. Most of the time it’s prudent to just take the head pat and be patient. When things really matter, they always work out.”
He pulled into the church parking lot and looked at her for a moment. The combination of his gaze and the soft expression directed toward her gave her a thrill.
“Yeah, I’d say always.”