Post Thanksgiving Reflections

I attended Thanksgiving this year at the home of my sister-and-brother-in-law. There were 36 people for Thanksgiving dinner. Yes, it was a zoo, but also fun (except for the untrained dog who ruined my daughter's brand new dress, my favorite black sweater and two pairs of tights - and that was just in my family, lol).

The ages ranged from the cutest 2 year old all the way up to the sweetest 83 year old, who had brought lots of her jewelry to pass out to her daughters-in-law, granddaughters and great-granddaughters. I think she enjoyed it.

What struck me most about this celebration is that approximately 1/3 of the guests were from other countries. One family was from Holland, one matriarch from Columbia (via Lebanon) and another family from Ukraine. So it really was an international gathering for this uniquely American holiday. Although all of these people lived in America, they mostly were not American citizens, nor did they aspire to be Americans. They are working here, raising families here, but very much attached to their home countries. It gave me a different viewpoint of the whole immigration picture.

Here was my laugh for the day. My family was staying in a hotel. We booked one room for my husband and myself and two kids (another was staying with her cousins). My daughter and I checked in first, around 9 pm because she was sick. I asked if they had a cot so the sick one and the healthy one didn't have to share a bed. 

The clerk gave me a strange look and said, "You have a nice two-bedroom suite with a king bed in one room, two double beds in the other bedroom, and a pull-out sofa in the living room." She regarded the  two of us standing there. "Do you still need the cot?"

LOL I guess they had upgraded us, but I don't think she even knew it was an upgrade. She just thought I was crazy. But we did enjoy the suite!

I hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday!

Chrstmas Short Stories Coming Up!

Starting in December, some authors will have Christmas short stories to share. So be sure to drop in and enjoy at !

This is one of the Christmas Santas I make with a mohair beard, mohair bear and tapestry cloak.
Okay, off to start the story at the REAL beginning. I always think of famous scientists who work and work and work on finding cures or what not, and they don’t just have that breakthrough on the first trial. At least, most don’t. Sometimes it’s the same for me when I’m writing the beginning of a story. I don’t know the characters at all. And as I’m writing, I realize they need a different beginning.

The same thing for photography. I was watching a DIY venture into creating hearts or other shapes for bokeh. And in this, the DIYer was showing the mistakes he made in his first trial and error attempts at creating this–first in cutting out his shapes: too big, too ragged (not clean enough cut edges), and then when taking the pictures–not having a good light source to create the bokeh.
The same can be said for life. My hard mineral water was leaving awful water marks on the shower glass. I’ve tried a ton of different methods to clean it off. After cleaning off a lot of it, I have been using a squeegy to remove the water after every shower to try prevent the water (minerals) from making more of a mess. That really helps.

So for writing, I have to remind myself, sometimes the beginning isn’t really the beginning. The rest I’ve written often just needs to be moved further along. Or, sometimes it just needs to be tossed as it doesn’t work for my new vision.

I’m not for sure until I begin to write the new beginning. And will it work this time? Who knows!

Maybe. But that is only the beginning.

Have a super, wonderful day!
Terry Spear
“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy is reality.”
Connect with Terry Spear:
Wilde & Woolly Bears:

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

I hope you will forgive me for taking the day off. I’m so stuffed with turkey that I can barely move off the couch!

But I’ll try to leave you with a smile…

For authors (and those who love them):

“The past, the present and the future walked into a bar. It was tense.”

Was that an awful groaner of a joke? How about this one:

“Let’s eat, Grandma.  Let’s eat Grandma.  Commas save lives!!!”

Still groaning? Okay, remember…

“No matter how much you push the envelope, it will always be stationery.”

I hope you enjoy your weekend with family and friends. And don’t get on the scale until at least Monday!

Happy Thanksgiving to all,


Great Review for Choose Me

It's always great when an author knows she's found her readers. Especially when writing to a niche market like mature romances. My Silver Fox Romances are at their core small town romances. The heroes are sexy firefighters and contractors - and over 40. And while I hear from many readers that they are looking for romances with older characters, it's hard to get the message out to those readers. But I have faith that it will happen and part of that is visibility. And reviews.

Reviews are slowly coming in, and this one for Choose Me from Scandalicious Book Review made my day because I knew I'd found the readership I'm writing for. The review says in part:

"...Choose Me is silver fox romance at its best. We have easily relatable couples that are mature enough to see past the distractions and insecurities. They are mature enough to talk and more importantly, listen to each other even when they both fuck up. Experience like that is hard earned and much appreciated. I strongly recommend you try this book/series. Natasha Moore has tapped into something that has sparked an ember in my reading fire and I can’t wait to see what else she gives us next. Rick has a herd of brothers, and friends around town and Eve’s girlfriends are a hoot, so plenty of future story potential can be found in the secondary characters. In fact, Rescue Me is out now…I’ll be reading that one next!"

You can read the review in full here.  

If you'd like to read romances with mature characters, give Choose Me a try. And if you like it, recommend it to your friends, because I think word of mouth is the strongest way to reach potential readers. And to find the readers who are looking for the books we write.

Buy Choose Me
Amazon   B&N   Apple   Kobo

6 Reasons to Make Lists

Christmas Santa Bear with tapestry cloak and fur trimmed hat.
  1. So you don't forget anything, right? But what if it's NOT on your list? Standard comment at the grocery store: Did you find everything all right? Yep, as long as it was on my list. Do you notice how you will get all the things you WANT that are NOT on the list? And if you don't follow the list, you forget to get the things you really NEED? I forgot the dog food one time. It was the one thing I went to the store for. lol Yes, I had to return.
  2. To send to Santa so HE doesn't forget you this year. Yeah, you know how well that works, right?
  3. So you don't forget the routine stuff you do so often that it's just...routine. Did I feed the puppies this morning? They are acting like they haven't been fed, but I've already done so much this morning, I'm sure I've fed them. And they will eat as many times as I put out food, so that's no guarantee they haven't eaten. Yes, I fed them anyway, just in case.
  4. So you can get more done. Right! It's not on the list? I can't do it, because the other things are on my list and so I have to be held accountable. So then what do I do? Add it to the list to cross it off so I feel I've done more, because I have. Even if I didn't get the things on the list done that were already there.
  5. So you can get ahead of the game. What? If you get everything done on the list, that means you have to make another list! And it might be worse than this list!
  6. So you can write it down, know it's on the list, and not try to keep remembering all the things you need to get done. It's right there. On. The. List. If it is. :)
I have to say here I was obsessive compulsive about lists, getting everything done daily, etc. So I gave up on lists.
BUT, when the tasks begin to pile up, I start a list because otherwise I lose sleep over what needs to get done by what time. And invariably something falls through the crack.
So the good, the bad, and the ugly about lists... are you a list maker?
Okay, that's one thing off my list. Blogging. Until tomorrow.
Have a wonderful day and may your list of things to do get done in a timely fashion!
green-lights-900-lighter-sunrise-901Green lights at sunrise.
Terry Spear
“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy is reality.”
Connect with Terry Spear:
Wilde & Woolly Bears:

Rescue Me!

Today is the release day for the second book in my Silver Fox Romance series! Rescue Me is the story of a fireman's widow whose attempt at being wild and spontaneous backfires, and her husband's best friend, another fireman who has resisted his attraction to his best friend's wife for years. They get thrown together in a snowstorm and forced to face their feelings for each other.

I love writing about older characters, men and women with life experiences and histories that give them layers and create conflict. I hope you'll want to read about Bonnie and Joe's second chance at love.

The first review is in and calls it "...a wonderful story about second chances..."

After years of playing it safe, Bonnie Petrowski’s first attempt at being wild and spontaneous leaves her spinning off the road during a blinding snowstorm. The sassy widow has few regrets, but never owning up to her feelings for her late husband’s best friend is one of them. And now it might be too late.
Firefighter Joe Waterman isn’t going to let a little thing like a blizzard stop him from getting the hell away from his big empty house. He doesn’t get far, however, before discovering a small car buried in the snow. When he recognizes his friend’s widow inside, his unwanted attraction to her still blazes hot enough to melt the snow piling up around them. After he rescues her, not only do the sparks continue to zap between them - Bonnie wants to talk about their feelings for each other.

Joe made a promise years ago and he’s bound to keep it. Even if it means he and Bonnie can never have a chance at forever together.
Amazon   B&N   Apple   Kobo   

Excerpt from Bound by Danger

bluebird-baby-giraffe-900-bokeh-004If I had a friend, would it be you? I think it would, no matter how different we are. A bluebird on my fence…and a new friend.
Terry Spear
Bound by Danger
Copyright © 2010 by Terry Spear
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the author, except for the inclusion of brief quotations in a review.
Discover more about Terry Spear at:

About Bound by Danger:

Army officer Deidre Roux has hidden her psychic abilities until now. But ominous visions plague her and between the martial arts tactics her twin brother taught her and the hand-to-hand combat she learned in the Army—she’s realizing just how important these skills are for her well-being.
When a reporter moves in next door, she’s not sure just what to think. Dave Carter owns a gun—it is Texas—and comes to her rescue when her brother suddenly drops into her life again. From there it’s the normal stuff that women and men tend to do when they’re getting to know each other—boating, swimming, dancing—except for one thing…she’s trying to keep her secret under wraps at all costs, which is difficult to do when she’s under surveillance by the FBI, and people keep wanting her dead.
Could a reporter, who’s not really a reporter, prove he might just have what it takes to keep her safe–for the long run?
Excerpt from Bound by Danger:
After parking their vehicles at the apartment complex, Dave quickly met Deidre at her car. She pointed to Charlie’s truck, noting his disappointment as his brow wrinkled slightly.
“I know you talked of supper, but that was only if Charlie wasn’t home. And I really haven’t had a chance to have a word with him.”
Dave nodded and walked her to their landing. She could tell he wasn’t happy about the situation, but it would just have to be. He kissed her briefly on the lips before she hurried into her apartment.
She really liked Dave. He was so much fun to be around and work today had actually been enjoyable, only because of him. But she was so worried about Charlie, she was having a difficult time thinking of much else.
Once she closed her front door, she said, “Charlie, we’ve got to talk.”
He sauntered out of the kitchen with a cup of coffee in hand. “A little later—”
“No, now!”
She was determined to find out what her brother had been up to. A clinking in the kitchen made her turn in that direction.
Marilyn walked out of the kitchen with a mug in her hand. “Coffee, sweetie?”
Instantly, Deidre felt her temper rising. She needed to talk to Charlie—alone!
“Uh, no, thanks.” Deidre hastened to her room and slammed the bedroom door. The woman was a leech—a real parasite. Cool down, think, Deidre.
She tore off her Army uniform and slipped into shorts, shirt, and sandals and stormed out of the room. “I’ll talk to you later, Charlie, when we can do it—alone.”
The woman eyed her, looking a little concerned. Why? Because Deidre had her number?
Whoever this woman was, she just toyed with him—certainly not in the market for real estate, commercial or otherwise. She was after something else, Deidre was certain. But what, she hadn’t a clue.
An evening at the mall would be the best bet, but not in Killeen. Temple. She liked it best. They had a Mexican restaurant right next door. A movie theater. Maybe by the time she got home, Ms. Whatever-Her-Real-Name-Was would be gone and Deidre could finally sit down and talk to Charlie.
Deidre got in her car and took off.
Interstate 35 was crowded with traffic for early evening. Irritated, she concentrated on a Mustang zipping in and out of traffic. Won’t make if very far in life, she thought.
A van tailgated her for a while and she applied her brakes. He backed off, then drove around and shot her the finger.
“Jackass,” she said back.
A travel trailer pulled out of her lane in front of her to pass a truck, and she winced as the gravel from the truck flew into her windshield. She glanced into her rearview mirror to check for traffic before she tried to pass.
The black-haired man stared back at her, his white teeth gleaming as he smiled a malicious grin. She shuddered involuntarily. His nose sported a bandage and his raccoon eyes were colored black and blue still from her bout with him on her balcony.
Quickly she glanced into her backseat. There was no one there. Her heart pumped so hard, it was ready to explode.
She knew then…he was coming for her with murderous intent.
Dave walked out of the shower and heard banging on his door. After running for the door, he peeked out of his peephole. Marilyn’s face was darkened with concern. He pulled the door open, and she glanced down at the towel wrapped around his waist and smiled.
“I kind of like this look—”
“What do you want, Marilyn?” He hurried back into his bedroom.
She shut the door and followed him. “I’ve been trying to get hold of you—”
“I was showering. What’s up? Aren’t you kind of blowing your cover?”
“Deidre took off to God knows where. Before I could stop him, Charlie chased after her.”
“Jeez, Marilyn.” Without drying off, he hurried to pull his shirt on. “Did you call the state police?”
And…they’re all bound for more danger!
So I’m off to write, and hope you have a really, truly, danger-free day!
Terry Spear
“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy is reality.”
Connect with Terry Spear:

NEW RELEASE: In The Court Of Love And Loss

On November 15, LooseId Publishing will release my sci-fi romance “In the Court of Love and Loss.” I’m super excited, because it’s a bigger book than I’ve done before (93,000+ words). 

Here’s the beautiful cover:

 And here’s the blurb:

Kyrie is the Mistress of Justice on the planet Sirene, able to judge a person’s guilt or innocence with a mere touch. She is invaluable to the planet’s dictatorial leader, Galen, but Kyrie is dying. Abandoned as a child by her people, the Ouri, when they mysteriously fled Sirene, she’s grown up among the planet’s “other” race. Now, at age twenty-five, she must find an Ourian to mate with or die. 

Proteus is sent back to Sirene to rescue a child accidentally left behind when he and all the Ouri fled the threat of uprising. But through a trick of time, what he finds instead on his return is an Ourian woman he is forbidden by law to mate with, even if it means saving her life. And when Galen forces Proteus to sexually satisfy Kyrie, Proteus uses every trick at his disposal to keep her alive, all while plotting their escape.

Galen and Proteus are desperate to save Kyrie for very different reasons – but they both know the fate of the planet depends on her survival.

At its heart, this book is definitely a romance, but of equal important to my lovers is the future of their troubled world. Sacrifices must be made, lives are changed forever, and there’s a twist midway through the book that I hope readers won’t see coming!

As any author does, I’ve put my heart into this book, and I hope my readers will enjoy this world I've created. And as always, many thanks for your support!


One Week to Rescue Me - Pre-Order & Excerpt

The second book in the Silver Fox Romance series will release in one week! But if you don't want to have to mark your calendar, or sign-up for my mailing list for the reminder, don't worry. You can pre-order right now and it will appear on your favorite e-reader on November 14th! (Can you tell I love pre-order? I do it all the time.)

As I was planning the story for Rescue Me, I realized I set most of my books in the summertime, and I decided I needed a winter story, after all, I've lived with snowy & cold weather all my life. In western New York, where the Silver Fox Romances are set, summer weather lasts a much shorter time than winter. It was fun adding all those realistic winter details into the story


After years of playing it safe, Bonnie Petrowski’s first attempt at being wild and spontaneous leaves her spinning off the road during a blinding snowstorm. The sassy widow has few regrets, but never owning up to her feelings for her late husband’s best friend is one of them. And now it might be too late.
Firefighter Joe Waterman isn’t going to let a little thing like a blizzard stop him from getting the hell away from his big empty house. He doesn’t get far, however, before discovering a small car buried in the snow. When he recognizes his friend’s widow inside, his unwanted attraction to her still blazes hot enough to melt the snow piling up around them. After he rescues her, not only do the sparks continue to zap between them - Bonnie wants to talk about their feelings for each other.

Joe made a promise years ago and he’s bound to keep it. Even if it means he and Bonnie can never have a chance at forever together.
“Kick off your boots and hang your coat on the hook over there.” Joe didn’t know why his voice sounded strangled.
He froze as he watched Bonnie shed the snowy coat and boots, then step out of the wet, heavy sweatpants. He nearly choked when she turned to him and he got the full impact of the woman he hadn’t seen in the past two years.
She’d always been curvy, with hips that flared out just the way he liked it. But right now that purple dress clung to her curves in a way that was almost sinful. The V neckline showed off her mouthwatering cleavage. And her bare feet…somehow seeing her toes with their pale pink polish made a low growl slip from his lips.
“Did you say something?”
“No.” He turned and hung up his coat, then kicked his boots clear across the mudroom. “Where did you go dressed up all fancy like that?”
Her eyes widened, then narrowed. “Out to dinner.”
He scoffed. “You drove all that way for a date?”
She stepped over the clumps of snow, stomped past him into the kitchen, then whirled around. “I didn’t say it was a date.”
“Dressed like that?” Joe followed her, stepped up close. He caught a faint scent of something flowery. She’d put on perfume for this guy.
Bonnie propped her hands on those luscious hips. “So what if I went on a date. What’s it to you?
She was magnificent when she was wound up. And she was right. It was none of his business. Except when he had to rescue her from her car. “He should have come to you if he wanted to see you. Not make you drive in this crappy weather.” If Joe knew who the jerk was, he’d—
“He didn’t make me,” she snapped. “He said he had an early morning, so I offered to make the drive. We didn’t know the weather was going to get bad. It was spur of the moment. It was romantic.”
Romantic? Nothing about the last couple of hours had been romantic. Something in her tone sounded defensive, made him think she wasn’t telling him everything. “So who is this guy?”
“You’re not my father, Joe. What’s with the interrogation?”
“I’m just concerned.”
When she rolled her eyes, he was reminded of the cute young woman she’d been when Frank first brought her around. Bright and sparkly with no shadows haunting her eyes. “Don’t worry about me. I’m doing fine.”
“Of course, you are.” The thought of Bonnie dressing up like that, all pretty and sexy, for some guy he didn’t know bugged the hell out of him. Joe knew being pissed that she’d never dressed up for him made no sense at all. He’d watched her run off to Erie because that was the way it had to be. But his screwed up emotions were no reason to treat her this way now.
“Thank you for getting me out of a ditch. I’m sorry I snapped at you, but I’m really tired and—”
“Sure. Follow me. The guest room has its own bathroom and you can use all the hot water you want.”
“A hot shower sounds wonderful.”
“I’ll grab some dry clothes and leave them on the bed, then put on a pot of decaf.”
“That’d be great.”
Joe watched her pad down the hall, then went into the master and rummaged around in his dresser for something for Bonnie to wear. He finally grabbed a T-shirt and another pair of sweatpants. He stepped into the guest room and heard the shower running behind the closed bathroom door.
As a firefighter, he was the kind of guy who ran into a burning building when everyone else was running out. But right now, knowing the woman he’d loved for years was naked behind that closed door, he ran away like the flames of hell were at his heels.
Pre-order Rescue Me now and read it in seven days!
Amazon    B&N   Apple   Kobo
All the Silver Fox Romances are standalone stories, but if you haven't read book #1, you catch up with Choose Me before Rescue Me releases!
Amazon    B&N   Apple   Kobo 
And of course, you can sign up for my mailing list at any time for info on new releases and mailing-list-only giveaways!

1st Kiss from Vexing the Highalnder! 99 cents for Enchanting the Highlander!

First Kiss from Vexing the Highlander in Enchanting the Highlander

Feeling panicked, she was afraid she wouldn’t make it down the corridor to her room in time before she was caught.

Alban must have assumed the same thing and suddenly moved her against the wall with his hot body pressing indecently close and held her hostage. “Forgive me,” he breathed against her cheek. And then he moved his warm lips against her mouth and kissed her.

A lady with the right upbringing would never, ever kiss a gentleman—or an untitled Highlander—let alone do so in the king’s own castle when he planned to marry her off to one of his loyal lords. She would never have kissed Alban back—or so she told herself—except to pretend she was not who she was, rather just a servant girl having a good time with one of the king’s honored guests.

Yet, she gave into the kiss as if she’d been trained in the art of kissing, which, with the way Alban was kissing her back, she found it easy to follow his lead. She soaked up the feel of his warm mouth against hers, and the smoldering flame that ignited low in her belly and fanned the heat all the way through her, despite the chill in the corridor. His chest pressed against her breasts, making them tingle with the most delicious need. His manhood stirred against her waist, and she realized why her mother had warned her and her sister never to kiss a gentleman in such a manner. Indeed, not until she was wed to him, for she felt urges she’d never known she could experience. Womanly urges that compelled her to take this further.

She wrapped her arms around his neck, Alban’s mouth smiling slightly against her lips, as she pressed him tighter. She thought if he was as close as he could be, whoever was about to pass them by—hopefully without stopping to speak—would not see her, as tall as Alban was. Though she was hoping the Highlander would not presume she was always this forward with a man whether she knew him or not. Yet she was thrilled beyond measure to enjoy his attentions, even if it was just to keep her reputation intact. But if the man stopped to speak with Alban, and the Highlander quit kissing her to speak with the person in kind, her character would be in tatters.

“Ahem,” the male said, but continued to walk on by.

She didn’t dare glance in his direction to see if she knew the man. Alban didn’t either, but she wasn’t sure if it was because he was so wrapped up in kissing her, or because he was afraid to reveal who she was.

If Alban hadn’t been holding her so close, she would have melted right into the stone floor, her body boneless. His breathing was as labored as hers, his heartbeat pounding just as fast. He didn’t make a move to release her, waiting while the footfalls faded away. He smelled of summer and the woods, of freshly-washed, earthy male. And then the footsteps were gone.

Yet even then, Alban didn’t let her go. “Wait, just a moment more.”
We have until Sunday to make a list, so if you haven't bought your copy yet, we'd love it if you did! Thanks!

Terry Spear's photo.

Enchanting the Highlander release day!

I'm excited that today is release day for our newest anthology, Enchanting the Highlander! It's only .99 cents this week! Grab your copy before the book disappears at the end of the month.

Five new, enchanting, Scottish romance novellas by five bestselling authors!

While on a siege, Laird Douglas Hay discovers a lass’ half-frozen body. Though she’s his enemy, he cannot abandon her. As his captive, she could bring a hefty ransom. He revives her, a task easier managed than dealing with her fiery temper, and the intense desire heating his veins. Taken prisoner by a brutish warrior, Lady Annora Comyn is determined to escape. Secretly, she believes the war between Scots is ludicrous, that the vying for the crown should have ceased when her royal brother was murdered. Annora struggles with the notion of letting men fight their battles, or offering herself as collateral to unite the warring Scots. After all, there are far worse things than having to kiss Laird Hay everyday for ever and ever…


Lady Aila MacIntosh hopes she doesn’t regret the king’s marital choices for her and her sister. Until one braw Highlander bumps into her at the king’s gathering. He’s as taken with her as she is with him, until she learns he is but a commoner, when she is a lady. The king would never make a match between them. Alban of the Clan Daziel meets a beautiful woman at the king’s court, only she is a lady and out of his reach. When the lady and he meet under awkward circumstances, they chance to overhear a plot to assassinate the king. Their lives spiral out of control and losing his heart to Aila is only one of his pressing concerns. Protecting her from those who wish the king dead—his greatest.


When Lady Mairiana MacKerrick witnesses her fiancé, Alec Lindsay, committing a murder three days before their wedding, she decides she must run away. Darack Grant, secretly an outlaw MacGregor, is on a secret mission, but when he finds Mairiana hiding in the stables, he decides to help her escape. He remembers the lovely lass from their one meeting a few years before. Though he was drawn to her, he always saw her as far beyond his reach. Mairiana finds her hidden inner strength and trusts the Highland renegade to protect her on their journey through the Scottish Highlands. On the way, they find an astonishing passion. But Alec will stop at nothing to reclaim his betrothed and destroy Darack, even pin a murder on him.


TARTANS AND TRYSTS by Victoria Roberts
Sorcha Gunn has realized the error of her ways and wants to make amends for everything she’s done. But when her cousin mysteriously disappears and Sorcha suspects her father is responsible, she needs to make a choice: betray the man who has given her everything or seek help from his enemy. As captain of the MacKay guard, Doughall Forbes will do anything to protect his clan from the ruthless Gunn laird. The last thing he needs is a wily female luring him into a nefarious trap. But he believes Sorcha, even though he can tell she’s holding something back. He’s determined to help her but soon discovers he’s the one who needs protection…from losing his heart.


Iain Brodie is a fierce warrior and passionate lover, but to prove he’s responsible enough to be the clan’s chief, he must find a bride—quickly. One of the three Rose daughters fills his mind—and heart—even when he discovers she is not who she claimed to be. Annie Rose doesn’t want to be a bride, not even deliciously and annoyingly sexy Iain’s. But her father wants an alliance with Iain’s clan, and he’s chosen her to forge it. Then Annie falls under Iain’s seductive spell at the spring known in old tales as the fairy pool. When her father suddenly decides against their match, Iain must risk losing everything he values—the clan he was born to lead and even Annie—his only love.