Friday, October 19, 2018

My Favorite Book, by Jeanette Lewis

People often ask me which of my books is my favorite. I'm up to fifteen published books, but my answer is always the same.

My favorite book is the NEXT one. The one that's still bouncing around in my brain and that I haven't put down on paper yet.

That book is still shiny and new with possibilities. It hasn't developed any of the warts or frustrating plot holes that immediately start cropping up when you put pen to paper. There's no tricky scene to navigate or 4,000 words to delete from your second draft because they simply don't work. My favorite book is the perfect one that I'll never write.

Right now, I'm working on Taming the Mountain Man, Book Three in my Tamarack Ridge Romances. I've made some good progress and got a huge boost this week when a new research item arrived. My hero, Jack, is a knife maker, so I ordered this from BlueApeBlades on Etsy.

The craftsmanship is astounding and the weight is surprising. There are conclusions you can draw from a person who makes a knife like this and it's already changed some of my perceptions of the character.

Taming the Mountain Man will hopefully be released next month. In the meantime, check out the rest of the Tamarack Ridge series Book One: Loving the Mountain Man, and Book Two: Charming the Mountain Man

I'm having such fun with this one! But I'm far enough into book three now that book four is my new favorite book - the one that's simmering in my brain and still perfect in every way!

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Love’s Light, Book 1 in the First Street Church Series!

Serenity Wright has spent her life taking care of others, putting her life on hold. And at twenty-six, with a sister in college, another in high school who’s headed down the wrong path, and a father addicted to pain pills, she’s the only one keeping the family together. However, part-time waitress and weekend honky-tonk singer was hardly the life she’d envisioned. Her chances of ever performing at the Grand Ole Opry were diminishing with each family crisis. Until Axel Scott, songwriter to Nashville’s finest enters her life.

Sweet Grove, Texas seems like the perfect place for Axel to clear his head and overcome a year-long writer’s block. But he never expects to find his muse there or fall in love with a woman whose problems run deeper than his own.

Will love’s light be enough to heal their hearts?


USA Today bestselling author Raine English writes sweet small-town contemporary romance, along with paranormal and romantic suspense. She’s a Daphne du Maurier Award winner and a Golden Heart finalist. To receive information on all her new releases, you can sign up for her newsletter, visit her website, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

A Sequel for My May-December Couple by Liwen Y. Ho

Have you ever heard of a May-December romance? This term refers to a relationship between two people who have a considerable age difference between them. One example of such a couple is Hugh Jackman and his wife, Deborra-lee Furness, who is twelve years older than him. Knowing that "Wolverine" found love and happiness with an older woman made it easy for me to write a realistic story featuring a May-December couple.

You may remember Izzy Sutton and Chase Lockhart from my book, Chasing Romance, that came out last fall. When several readers expressed how much they loved this couple and the way they found romance despite their age gap of eleven years, I knew they deserved a sequel. I'm super excited to continue their story in Holding Onto Love in Romance this year.

Here's a look at the book cover (which the lovely Shanna Hatfield made!) and also a teaser from the story:

“Here, let me do the dishes.” Chase walked over to where Izzy stood in front of the stainless steel sink. The kitchen lights he’d recently had installed for her shone from above, highlighting the red in her hair. His heart skipped a beat just looking at her. He took the blue checkered apron she was in the process of slipping over her head and put it on himself. “I think this looks better on me anyways.”

Her hazel eyes lit up in amusement. Placing her hands on her hips, she gave him an appreciative once-over. “Hmm, not bad, not bad.”

“Not bad?” Chase raised a brow and pulled her flush against his chest. His body instantly warmed at their contact. He loved being close to Izzy. They’d been apart from each other much too often this summer when he’d gone on tour. He dreaded having to leave her again tomorrow. “Maybe you need a closer look.”

“Are you implying I need bifocals?” She gave his bicep a playful slap. “I may be old, but I can still see fine, young man.”

He pretended to study her face, from her smooth porcelain skin and defined cheekbones to her full red lips. “You are far from old. My perfect vision doesn’t see a trace of a wrinkle anywhere. You look just as young and gorgeous as the day we met.”

“Which was only a year ago, need I remind you.”

“One year, one month, and four days,” he remarked proudly. “I’ve been keeping track.”

Her eyes widened in surprise. “You’re pretty adorable, you know that?”

He chuckled softly. “It must be the apron.”


Aren't Chase and Izzy just perfect for each other? :) I can't wait for you to read their sequel, which (spoiler alert!) has a wedding in it. 

The best part about this story is that it takes place in the sweetest fictional town of Romance, Oregon. I guarantee that once you visit Romance, you won't want to leave! You'll be happy to know that Holding Onto Love in Romance is one of six books in the Christmas in Romance series. Five other authors, including our own Shanna Hatfield, and I have created a wonderful little getaway for you to experience, beginning November 1st! I invite you to take a look at the series page on Amazon to see the wonderful books in this series. I've read them all and thoroughly enjoyed the sweetness and humor of each story. 

Click here for the series page: Christmas in Romance. Pre-order your copies today!

Be sure to join us over at the Sweet Romance Reads Cafe on Facebook for a great community of like-minded readers who enjoy reading sweet/clean romance!

Monday, October 15, 2018

Let's Hear it for Pumpkins by Alicia Street

They show up every fall to entertain us with their bright arresting color, captivating grins and jolly round shapes. They’re the spotlight-grabbing, star-powered, irresistibly cute and mysterious members of the Curcubita family (aka squash)—the pumpkin.

Each fall we see them lining our neighbors’ walkways, lawns, and windowsills. One of the most beautiful sights is an entire convention of them congregating en masse across fields in the countryside for as far as the eye can see.

Here are some fun-filled facts about pumpkins:

Pumpkins are 90 percent water and they’re loaded with potassium and Vitamin A.

Their seeds were used by Native Americans for medicine and food.

The largest pumpkin ever grown weighed 2,600 pounds (Germany, 2016).

Pumpkins date back to ancient Central America some 7,500 years ago.

The whole idea of carving them is part of an old Irish custom. 

Pumpkins grow on every continent except Antarctica.

Each year America produces over 1.5 million tons of pumpkins.

Pumpkins were once used to get rid of freckles and treat snakebites.

The Pilgrims made pumpkin beer.

Pumpkins are actually a fruit, not a vegetable.

Pumpkins got their start in America and were taken back to Europe.

Pumpkins, like people, come in all sizes, shapes and colors.

And here’s an easy recipe for ~

Pumpkin Soup

2 Tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium onions, chopped
1 tsp salt
2 15 oz cans pumpkin puree
1 16 oz package chicken broth
2 cups water
½ cup heavy cream
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg (I leave this out because I don’t like nutmeg!)

1.     Melt butter in large soup pot.
2.     Add onions, then garlic, then the salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir to keep from sticking.
3.     Add the chicken broth, water, and pumpkin puree, stirring to combine.
4.     Simmer for 20 minutes.
5.     Turn off heat and cool slightly, then stir in the heavy cream

Do you have favorite activities or recipes with pumpkins?

Alicia Street is a USA Today bestselling author and a Daphne du Maurier
award-winner. A compulsive reader of every genre, she writes
both sweet and spicy romance. She spent many years as a dancer,
choreographer and teacher.
Alicia loves to connect with readers~
Website   Facebook   Twitter   Goodreads

Don't forget to join the Sweet Romance Reads Authors at the Café!

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Happy National Dessert Day by Merrillee Whren

At the end of October is Halloween, and children all over the country come home with bags and buckets full of sweet treats. But did you know that today is National Dessert Day?

To tantalize your taste buds, I'm going to post some photos of desserts. This first photo is a concoction, which I made at a Harlequin party several years ago. I had to preserve it with a photo.

One of my favorite desserts is carrot cake. In one of my recent books, A BABY TO CALL OURS, the heroine bakes the hero a carrot cake.

How about cookies for dessert?

Or Key lime pie?

You can check out the dessert celebration here.
What is your favorite dessert?

 I also have a new release, the first book in my Kellersburg series, HOMETOWN PROMISE.
You can find buy links and excerpts by using this link. 
Merrillee Whren is the winner of the 2003 Golden Heart Award presented by Romance Writers of American. She is married to her own personal hero, her husband of forty-plus years, and has two grown daughters. Connect with her on her Facebook page and sign up for her newsletter.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Have You Ever Been on a Cruise Ship?

I recently completed Aloha to Love, my sweet holiday romance novella. Part of the story is set on a cruise ship bound for Hawaii, and I learned so much about cruising and the food!

First, the buffets are endless. Through my research, I learned that most buffets are served for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus midday.

Breakfast includes continental, plus eggs, waffles, bacon, etc.
For lunch, expect pizza, sandwiches, and hot entrees.
Dinner will include hot entrees, pasta, a meat carvery station and desserts.

Sometimes, a midnight buffet is offered, although many cruise lines have now done away with it because of the food waste.

Besides buffets, expect the ship to serve food 24/7. Ice cream bars and drink dispensers are unlimited, as well as an outdoor grill serving hamburgers and hot dogs.

If you’ve been on a cruise, what is your favorite food?

Please leave your comments below.

And, be sure to grab your copy of Aloha to Love today. 

You’ll smile as you read about all the different foods mentioned on the ship. 

 Josie Riviera is a USA TODAY bestselling author of contemporary, inspirational, and historical sweet romances that read like Hallmark movies. She lives in the Charlotte, NC, area with her wonderfully supportive husband. They share their home with an adorable shih tzu, who constantly needs grooming, and live in an old house forever needing renovations. 

And don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter. Scroll down the right side of our blog and enter your email address under Newsletter Signup. Remember to join our Sweet Romance Reads Facebook Cafe too!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Golden Years of Romance by Shanna Hatfield

Developing characters for my stories is something I enjoy. I strive to make each couple (not matter how unlikely they might be) different or unique or somehow memorable.

When I sat down to create a couple for a new series I'm working on with five other authors (including our own Liwen Y. Ho), I decided to make them an older couple. And not just a little older than the typical 20 to 30-somethings I typically write about. Jess and Doris are in their seventies.

I just loved the idea of a couple who thought they were far beyond the need, or perhaps even the ability, of romance falling in love.

What made writing their story so fun was imagining the verbal sparring that took place between them.

It was so easy to picture the two of them, attracted to each other and fighting it every step of the way, as they lobbed insults and stingers.

Here's a little teaser:

“I had to drag the bench by the back door over to where you have the spare key hidden in the rafters of the porch. Why have you got all the doors locked? Afraid someone will come in here and put you out of your misery?” Doris asked. She marched back into the kitchen before he could answer.

Apparently, she wasn’t yet ready to put aside their differences and be on civil terms. Well, two could play that game. The promise he’d made to Janet to attempt to be nice to Doris crossed his mind, but he quickly dismissed it. The woman was more snappish than a testy turtle.

“Why didn’t you just fly your broom up there and grab it?” he asked as he made his way into the kitchen. Although he kept his tone friendly, she spun around and snarled at him after tossing her outerwear on a chair at the table.

Jess barely suppressed a chuckle.

She took containers out of a basket and set them on the counter. “Are you hungry or not? I’ve got better things to do than mollycoddle a senile ol’ donkey like you.”

He moved his walker until he stood in front of her. Doris wasn’t short by any means, but he stood several inches over her. He leaned down until his face was less than a foot from hers. “Senile ol’ donkey, huh? Surely you can do better than that.” He bent a little closer. “What have those kids been doing to you over there on your place? It looks like you’ve gotten a dozen new wrinkles that are as deep as furrows. Aging you by the day, are they?”

Doris took a step back, flames shooting from her eyes.

Jess hadn’t felt this good since before his surgery. He grinned and shuffled over to the table. 


CIR meme with covers
Celebrate Christmas in Romance
Between odd animals, lost loves, second chances, hidden identities, a secret Santa, and bickering senior citizens, it might just take a miracle to bring everyone a happily-ever-after for the holidays.
Settle in a chair by the fire, sip a cup of hot cocoa, and immerse yourself in the friendly town of Romance with this series of six sweet Christmas novellas from bestselling and award-winning authors.
 Sleigh Bells Ring Meme
Sleigh Bells Ring in Romance by Shanna Hatfield – Releasing Nov 1.
You’re never too old to fall in love . . .
Will two over-the-hill neighbors embrace a holiday romance?
Rancher Jess Milne lost his wife years ago, but he’s finally ready to give love a second chance. It’s a shame the one woman in Romance who captures his interest is a prickly, wasp-tongued she-devil. She used to be one of his closest friends until he asked her out. Her vocal, vehement refusal made her thoughts on dating him crystal clear. Despite her animosity, Jess can’t help but be attracted to her fire and spirit.
Widowed more than ten years, Doris Grundy tries to convince herself she’s content with her life. Her recently married grandson and his wife bring her joy. The ranch she’s lived on since she was a young bride gives her purpose. She’s an active member of their close-knit community. But the old coot who lives down the road continually invades her thoughts, keeping her from having any peace. Doris will be the last to admit she longs for the love and affection of her handsome neighbor.
When the two of them are unexpectedly thrown together, will they find a little holiday spirit and allow the love of the season to ring in their hearts?
pre-order SBR

A Merry Miracle Meme
A Merry Miracle in Romance by Melanie D. Snitker – Releasing Nov. 2.
It’ll take a Christmas miracle to turn a grudging friendship into true love.
Baxter Reid returns to his hometown of Romance, eager to see his childhood crush. Unfortunately, Savannah hasn’t forgotten all the ways he used to tease her back then. He’s got his work cut out for him if he’s going to get a second chance.
When Savannah Miller learns her former arch enemy is back in town, she dreads running into him. Baxter is at the center of some of her most embarrassing childhood memories. She’s more than happy to avoid Baxter until he apologizes and suggests a truce. Now what is she supposed to do?
Only time will tell whether the spirit of Christmas in Romance is enough to transform a grudging relationship into true love.

pre-order Melanie

Holding Onto Love meme
Holding Onto Love in Romance by Liwen Y. Ho – Releasing Nov. 3.
She’s a small town inn owner learning how to trust.
He’s a big time singer struggling to protect the woman he loves.
Together, they must fight to keep their romance alive.
Being engaged to America’s hottest pop star brings Izzy Sutton’s insecurities to the surface, making her question if she can handle life in the public eye. Complications multiply when her ex shows up on her doorstep two weeks before the wedding, with nowhere to live.
Through hard work and determination, Chase Lockhart climbed the Top 40 charts and won the hand of the only woman he’s ever loved. Helping Izzy overcome her cold feet, however, proves to be more challenging than expected, especially when he’s away on tour days before their wedding.
With their Christmas Eve wedding fast approaching, Izzy and Chase face the biggest decision of their relationship. Will they allow their circumstances to divide them or will they find enough reasons to keep holding onto love?

pre-order Liwen

A Reel Christmas in Romance by J. J. DiBenedetto  – Releasing Nov. 4.
Owner of the lone movie theater in Romance, Marianne Carter loves the old movies she shows on the big screen. She’s just struck up an email friendship with a newcomer to town. Unaware of his identity but feeling loyal to him, she fights her attraction to a handsome man she keeps bumping into around town.
Under a false identity, Jack Nelson comes to Romance to investigate the historic movie theater and decide if it should receive the status of a historical landmark. Little does he know the woman sending him charming emails is the same one who owns the theater.
While Marianne’s theater plays the old classic film The Shop Around the Corner, Marianne and Jack unknowingly play out the same story in real life. Will they figure it out in time to write their own happy ending?
pre-order James

A Christmas Carol meme
A Christmas Carol in Romance by Franky A. Brown – Releasing Nov. 5.
Christmas is coming to Romance, Oregon…but for Andy McKay, it’s only a reminder of the day the love of his life walked away. Guilted into playing Scrooge as a young man in the town’s production of A Christmas Carol, Andy unexpectedly finds himself acting alongside his girlfriend of romance past.
Cassie Winston has spent the past year traveling, writing, and regretting that she left the man she loved behind her. She’s afraid the old adage about how you can never go home again might be true. It’s hard enough to convince Andy to consider giving them a second chance, and acting with him in Scrooge and Belle’s breakup scene certainly doesn’t help.
As ghosts from the past resurface, can they find a way to create a new future together?
pre-order Franky

Santa’s Visit in Romance by Jessica L. Elliott – Releasing Nov. 6.
Santa’s got his work cut out for him to help a reluctant couple find love during the holidays.
Marshall Duncan swore off women when his wife ran away, leaving him with an infant to raise alone. But a newcomer to Romance might just change his mind, with some help from a mysterious friend and his precocious daughter, Savannah.
Latiesha Harris lost everything when her fiance left her in Denver. Hoping to escape her mother’s judgment, Latiesha goes to Romance to stay with an old sorority sister. But when she meets Katie’s childhood friend, there’s no denying the sparks between them.
When Nick Klauss gets a Santa letter by mistake, he can’t help but try to make the little girl’s wish come true. But how can a retired cowboy give Savannah a mommy by Christmas?
pre-order Jess
Don't miss out on the release party!
USA Today bestselling author Shanna Hatfield is a farm girl who loves to write. Her sweet historical and contemporary romances are filled with sarcasm, humor, hope, and hunky heroes. When Shanna isn’t dreaming up dreamy characters, twisting plots, or covertly hiding decadent chocolate from the other occupants of her home, she hangs out with her beloved husband, Captain Cavedweller.
Shanna loves to hear from readers. Follow her online at:
Find Shanna’s books at: