Fifteen Firsts: Allie Larkin

What was your first car? A Mercury. It was a boat and I had to open the trunk to get the gas tank cover to release, but I loved it.

What was the first thing you learned to cook? I seem to recall I made a mean chocolate cake as a kid.

When was your first time on an airplane? I think it was a trip to Seattle.

What was your first paying job? Babysitting.

How old were you when you had your first kiss? A lady never kisses and tells. I'm not saying I'm a lady, but I'm still not going to tell you.  

What was the first concert you went to see? The Everly Brothers. I was expecting them to look like they did on their record covers, and shocked when they were thirty years older. 

When/what was your first regrettable hairstyle? I had an unfortunate perm in high school. And I cut my own bangs.

How old were you when you got your first computer? My very own computer? College, I think. It was a beast.

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What was your first big purchase? Our house. It was the first time adult-ish feelings started creeping in.

What was the first book that made you cry? Little Women. I read it in fourth grade and sobbed for hours.

Where was your first road trip? To visit a college friend who lived near Albany over summer break. I took a wrong turn and ended up in Pennsylvania. 

Who was your first best friend? The new girl in third grade, but she moved away a few years later. We wrote letters through high school, but lost touch. I've tried to find her, but haven't been able to. 

When/where was your first trip abroad? Iceland. I was five or six.

Who was your first love? Chocolate. :)

Who was your first celebrity crush? I was obsessed with Jay Underwood who was in a movie called The Boy Who Could Fly.

Thanks, Allie!
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Fifteen Firsts & Giveaway: Samantha March

What was your first car? 
My first car was a 1987 Buick something or other. It was silver, old, clunky, and the brakes stopped working after about 6 months of driving. But my mom wanted me to have a “learning car” in case I was accident prone like my sister, and I paid cash for it after winning $600 in a raffle at a hockey game!

What was the first thing you learned to cook? 
Ha! Um…I’m still learning?! I would say probably French toast - or “eggbread” as my Grandma called it. 

When was your first time on an airplane? 
My first time was as a baby, traveling from California where I was born to Dubuque, Iowa. Since then, I’ve been on many more – with a family in the Army and a love for traveling, planes and I are no strangers! 

What was your first paying job? 
Baby-sitting, but other than that, my first “real” job was pizza maker at a Papa Murphy’s. I quit because they kept insisting I remove my fake fingernails. I was 14. Lol.

How old were you when you had your first kiss? 
Oh boy. I think I was in the 5th or 6th grade. His name was Billy, it was at a park, and I got grounded for coming home late that night.

What was the first concert you went to see? 
Wow, I do not remember! I’m sure I had to go to some in high school, but nothing is coming to me. My first college concert I went to was Avenged Sevenfold – love them! 

When/what was your first regrettable hairstyle? 
Cutting super short bangs. I think around the 7th grade. Eesh! 

How old were you when you got your first computer? 
When I got my OWN first computer, I was 21 and it was my college graduation present to myself. After I did 2 years of online school…figure that out! 

What was your first big purchase? 
Probably my first car. At 17, $600 is a lot of money to spend! 

What was the first book that made you cry? 
Oh boy. I’m sure it was a Baby-Sitter’s Club book. Love them! 

Where was your first road trip? 
My first big road trip that I remember (and going farther than the Midwest) is when I drove to North Carolina with my brother-in-law’s family to visit my sister and her new husband and baby in Camp Lejeune. That was in 2000 I believe. 

Who was your first best friend? 
My cousins Erinne and Leah. My first “school” best friend was Katie, who I am still in touch with through Facebook. 

When/where was your first trip abroad? 
Amsterdam in March 2006. I was a travel major in college and our big assignment was to completely plan this trip, then we got to take it. Best. Class. Ever. 

Who was your first love? 
Ooh, probably my first boyfriend Billy. I was in the 5th/6th grade. I definitely thought we were getting married. I am friends with him on Facebook, and did just see that he got married not too long ago. No hard feelings. ;) 

Who was your first celebrity crush? 
Ha. It was Zac Hanson, from the boy band Hanson. Yes, it’s true.

Thanks, Samantha!
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NEW RELEASE: THE GREEN TICKET

College junior Alex Abrams scores her dream job at the ripe age of twenty – manager to a successful salon and spa. Thrilled to finally have a real adult job, Alex enthusiastically jumps into the world of schedules, conference calls, and getting a massage when interviewing prospective employees. What she doesn’t expect are the very grown-up issues that come with a demanding boss. Kevin Dohlman quickly becomes Alex’s worse nightmare – covering up his affairs, dealing with his enormous ego, and trying to protect her female staff from him becomes a full-time job in its own right. Alex has also befriended Kevin’s wife and co-owner, Dani, and is trying to keep Kevin’s secrets hidden from her. The situation only worsens when Kevin starts paying Alex off to make sure she keeps her insider knowledge to herself.

While struggling to keep her wits and stay happy with her new grown-up job, Alex is juggling college courses, a new love interest, and keeping up with her close group of girlfriends. When her roommate and best friend Lila gets offered an opportunity to move to Los Angeles and sign with an agent, Alex realizes her life truly is changing, and everyone around her – including herself  is growing up. Knowing she is faced with some hard decisions ahead, Alex struggles with keeping her job at Blissful. But does she really want to throw away what she dreamed of as a career – or will the secret-keeping for Kevin become too much to handle? The Green Ticket is a story about morals versus money, and how one young woman navigates the shaky line between the two.

eBook Giveaway! Please leave a comment to be entered to win 1 of 2 copies of The Green Ticket. Be sure to include your email address or Twitter/Facebook information so that we can get in touch if you win. The winners will be chosen on Wednesday, December 12th. Good luck!

Fifteen Firsts: Kathleen Kole

What was your first car? 
Okay, I'm going to be dating myself here, so here goes: My first car was a used 1978 white Chevy Monza Spider. I bought it straight out of high school and was over the moon to purchase my very own car.

What was the first thing you learned to cook? 
Other than the usual breakfast stuff, the first family meal that I cooked/created was a roast with all the trimmings. I was fourteen years old.

When was your first time on an airplane? 
My first flight was at the ripe old age of twenty, and I flew from my home city of Edmonton AB to Toronto ON. (Both in Canada.)

What was your first paying job? 
My first paying job was at a bookstore! Talk about a treat!

How old were you when you had your first kiss? 
Oh dear... this one is awkward! Haha! My first real kiss was when I was twelve years old.

What was the first concert you went to see? 
The first concert I had the pleasure of seeing was performed by Paul Simon. The man can put on a show!

When/what was your first regrettable hairstyle? 
Hmmm, you know I honestly don't have one. Seriously, for me hair has always been an accessory, so I just see it as something you can change. It always grows back.

How old were you when you got your first computer? 
Oh man, this is going to sound sad! Haha! I bought my first computer (a Mac) when I was twenty eight years old.

What was your first big purchase? 
That's easy. My first big purchase was my house.

What was the first book that made you cry? 
I honestly do not remember. I have read so many great books that have made me run the gamut of human emotions. I'm grateful to have had the chance to read all of them.

Where was your first road trip? 
As an adult, my first road trip with a group of friends was to where I now live: the gorgeous Okanagan Valley. I am grateful to that trip as it was the reason I chose to move here, many years later.

Who was your first best friend? 
My first best friend was a girl I met at the young age of five named Heather. And, the best part is, she's still my best friend to this day! 

When/where was your first trip abroad? 
My first trip out of Canada was to California USA. 

Who was your first love? 
My first animal love was my hamster, Tupper. (Yes, for me it counts! I adored that furry rodent!) My first human love was a boy named Wayne, who I met in high school.

Who was your first celebrity crush? 
Oh boy, this one is really going to date me! Haha! My first celebrity crush was Shawn Cassidy. I had a poster of him in my childhood bedroom and thought he was dreamy. 

Thanks, Kathleen!

Fifteen Firsts: Michele Gorman

What was your first car?
It was a 1960-something Opel, which I bought from my next door neighbour for $1. I found 26 cents in the glove box, and thought I’d got a bargain. It was covered in rust, its driver’s side door was welded shut from a previous accident, and had dinner plate-size holes in the floorboards. To get into the driving seat I had to shimmy over the emergency brake from the passenger seat, and couldn’t wear shoes when it rained because the water sprayed up through the holes to douse my legs. My, how I loved that car!

What was the first thing you learned to cook?
Cookies! My Mom makes delicious cookies at Christmas – cut out cookies, butterballs, peanut butter cookies. I have wonderful memories of frosting the cut out cookies with my Mom and my little sister.

When was your first time on an airplane?
Infancy. My Dad worked for NASA so I was born in Houston, and then moved to Florida near Cape Canaveral, and we would fly north to New York to visit family at the holidays. The first flight I remember though was when I was four or five. I got to meet the pilot and he gave me a pin with wings on it.

What was your first paying job?
Babysitting. I looked after two really nice neighbourhood children every Tuesday while I was in high school so that the parents could go bowling. I arrived at 6:30, and the kids were supposed to go to sleep at 8pm, but they couldn’t tell time on regular clocks, only the digital one in the kitchen, so as soon as the parents left, I’d move the clock ahead an hour and put them to bed. I feel bad about it now - those poor children probably still get confused about time!

How old were you when you had your first kiss?
Age fifteen, on a hayride. We were playing spin the bottle and in the circle were about half a dozen boys that made lovely candidates for a first kiss. It was my turn. I spun. It landed on my best boy friend, Jim. I was so disappointed!

What was the first concert you went to see?
Billy Idol and Duran Duran at the Syracuse Carrier Dome with my older cousins. I felt like such a grownup! I had the greatest outfit too – a teal blue one-piece jump suit and dangly fish earrings. Oh yes, I was a style icon all right.

When/what was your first regrettable hairstyle?
I’m not sure that I ever regretted a hairstyly but my parents certainly did. In school, I used to blow dry my fringe straight and curl the rest of my hair into what I thought of as ringlets. My mother said it looked like I had sausage rolls on my head. And my Dad hasn’t liked a hairstyle since I was about 9.

How old were you when you got your first computer?
I was very very late to computing. I used them at work but my very own, unshared computer was a MacBook Air I got about 5 years ago. I wrote my first 3 books on a shared computer.

What was your first big purchase?
A camera that I saved all summer for my freshman year in university. I was working 3 jobs – a very bad waitress, babysitting, and as a pharmacy assistant. I wanted to buy three things: the camera, a real gemstone necklace, and a trip to New York City (where I would use my camera and find my necklace). I had an envelope for each one that I stuffed money into. I did get all three by the end of the summer. I still have the necklace (aquamarine stone with a tiny gold chain).

What was the first book that made you cry?
Jonathan Livingston Seagull.

Where was your first road trip?
Visiting California with my two friends after university.

Who was your first best friend?
Amy Sullivan, best friends since age 6!

When/where was your first trip abroad?
1991 with three girlfriends – we spent two weeks visiting London, Paris and Berlin. I came back and knew I’d live abroad. In 1997, I packed my bags and have been here in London ever since.

Who was your first love?
Chucky Wilson (sorry to out you Chucky!).

Who was your first celebrity crush?
Davy Jones. I was sure he was going to marry me. 

Thanks, Michele!

Fifteen Firsts: Ruth Saberton


What was your first car? 
My first car was a banana yellow Ford Fiesta with a black roof. It cost me £100 and I bought it from my best friend while we were teacher training in Southampton. I loved it and eventually sold it for £200!

What was the first thing you learned to cook?
Toast and Marmite.

When was your first time on an airplane?
This was when I was 16 and we went to Portugal for the first time.

What was your first paying job?
I worked in a sandwich bar when I was doing a levels. I learned all the tricks of the trade, such as putting the filling in so that it looked like more when the sandwich was cut in half!

How old were you when you had your first kiss?
I was 17, a late starter!

What was the first concert you went to see?
This was when I was 17 and I went to see Clannad. I was a big fan of Robin of Sherwood and they had written the soundtrack.

When/what was your first regrettable hairstyle?
My mum made me cut off all my hair into a hideous pudding bowl cut and I cried for days. God only knows what she was thinking.

How old were you when you got your first computer?
I was 17 and it was a zx81. The games came on a cassette! It was amazing to us back then in the eighties. Google it and have a giggle.

What was your first big purchase?
Probably my first house.

What was the first book that made you cry?
Treasures of the Snow by Patricia M Johns. I stayed up reading it under the covers and got quite hysterical. My parents weren't very sympathetic as they said I should have gone to sleep!

Where was your first road trip?
I'm still waiting for it?

Who was your first best friend?
My horse, Milly.

When/where was your first trip abroad?
I went to France on a school trip and it was before the Euro Tunnel - that's how old.


Who was your first love?
My horse!

Who was your first celebrity crush?
Call me weird, but I always had a thing for Captain Kirk.

Thanks, Ruth!
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