Friday, October 28, 2016

What a difference a year makes - by Magdalena Scott

Exactly one year ago I was packing and re-packing my tiny suitcase and shoulder tote, in preparation for a trip of a lifetime: A ten-day coach tour of Ireland with a longtime friend.

So much has happened since that fabulous trip.

For instance, more trips! In March, I spent a week with friends in Tucson. July was a long weekend in the Lancaster, PA area with high school girlfriends, one of whom was my roomie in Ireland. In August my son, daughter-in-law, and I went to Los Angeles, CA area to visit family and do some sight-seeing.

Friends ask when I'm heading out again, and I shake my head. Not any time soon. Can't afford it, plus I am so happy to be home, and in my quiet routine. Some would call it boring, and they'd be right.

I've taken better care of myself this year, or at least I'm trying. I try to eat well (see fruit smoothie dinner), sleep well, and exercise daily. Not great, not perfect, but better than twelve months ago, when I was a year younger.

A year ago I had been in two USA Today bestselling boxed sets, and now I've been in three. Wow!

A year ago, I had released three books in my Serendipity, Indiana series, and yesterday I released number seven--the intended end of the series. I'm not even sure how I feel about reaching this goal--maybe I'm in shock.

I love autumn, and October is my favorite month. Maybe the turning and falling of the leaves makes me think about change.

This year has brought some interesting experiences, and opportunities. I guess the question might be, "What's next?"

Magdalena Scott is a USA Today Bestselling Author. Her most recent release is a light paranormal sweet romance, A Piece of Her Soul (Serendipity, Indiana - Book #7). You can learn all about Magdalena at her website:

A PIECE OF HER SOUL - Serendipity, Indiana Book #7
Small town romance with a light paranormal twist. Don't miss Autumn in Serendipity!

Nick Marshall has a hole in his soul, and Jacqueline must help him find the missing piece. Their teenage history in the gossipy town of Serendipity compounds the situation, as Jacqueline’s visit to help her injured mother (Reba Markland, EMILY'S DREAMS) turns into something more.

The little town hasn’t changed much--the gossip tree still has branches and roots everywhere, most folks remember the town’s past better than they can imagine its future, and the autumn colors are more beautiful than anywhere she’s traveled in the years since she left.

Jacqueline's gift is needed here, but she won’t risk her heart, or put her family in the spotlight, by staying.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Have Baby Want October Fall Festivals

Right now I live in Miami. Fall means I get to open the window and watch the palm trees sway in the wind. While the ocean breezes and awesome temperature means I get to escape the summer heart and go outside again, as I stare at my newborn daughter, I realize just how different her life is. Growing up in New England, fall meant hot apple cider, pumpkin patches, corn mazes, and apple picking. While I can go to some farms either way south or way north of where we live for the pumpkin and corn, the apples just aren't here. Florida is home to oranges. Now we have the aisle of orange juice in every supermarket to choose which one we want, at all times. But we don't get the crisp air that turns leaves various colors. My daughter will grow up with a door man to hold the door open for her. Seriously. My building isn't even that great and the door man is because all the New York retirees demand one.
I grew up in a Victorian where my father called my name on days it snowed to go help shovel out the car. Winter and fall were also back to school time where if I showed up in flip flops, I'd probably lose a few toes from the cold. In Miami, my daughter can wear flip flops all year round with the weather, but probably won't as it's not a trendy school thing to do.
Now that my daughter is here, this makes me question life choices. Like do we buy a house for the three of us and move somewhere? Do we stick to the beach life that my husband and I enjoy? Am I cheating her out of autumn?
So does this make me just a nervous first time mom looking at her life choices?

New Release
Secret Baby 
Amazon   Barnes and Noble    ITunes     Kobo

Drama seems to follow Victoria Morgan everywhere, but she’s determined to mend her past and reclaim what was so cruelly taken from her.

Colt Collins moved on after the affair that left him heartbroken. After finding the child he bore with his ex, and serving in the US Marines, he builds a new life with his daughter on the family farm. Now, set to marry a woman he knows he can trust, he comes face-to-face with the love that abandoned him and their daughter many years ago.

When Victoria returns to town to attend her father’s funeral, the truth about what happened to her daughter is revealed, leaving Victoria willing to do anything to be in her child’s life again, even if that brings her face-to-face with the man she hurt so long ago.

Is there forgiveness after all the lies, pain, and betrayal? Can the love Colt and Victoria once shared be rekindled? Will this family torn apart by a cruel act be reunited?

Monday, October 24, 2016

The World of Make Believe by Pat Simmons

I love costume or themed parties. One summer, I sported an afro at a family reunion’s 70s themed party. Last month, I dolled up for a Harlem Nights party in Chicago. 
In a few days, I’m going to don a gray wig and slip my feet into a pair of men’s Stacy Adams black and white shoes as the incomparable Mrs. Beatrice Tilley Beacon aka Grandma BB. My getup is for the pajama party at a Christian book lovers retreat.  Grandma BB is one of my beloved characters from the Jamieson Legacy series. To understand this seventy-something meddling neighborhood “always on the watch” captain, you’ll have to read about her antics and how she came about adding Stacy Adams shoes to her wardrobe.

I remember when I attended my first pj party at a conference. I put curlers in my hair, and bought a thick cheetah colored robe, which I still have today, and dabbed cold cream on my face. I was ready for a memorable night.

Years ago, I won a trip to Maui. My husband and I dressed up as my favorite super heroes—superman and superwoman for a costume party. It just so happened, we over slept in our hotel room due to the time zone difference. Our late appearance couldn’t have been timed better, because cameras flashed when the doors opened, and there stood Superman and Superwoman.

I never know where some organizers come up with their themes for events. For example, I recently missed the opportunity to dress for a black tie event that was labeled as Old Hollywood. What was that? Google to the rescue.  If I had a couple of weeks noticed, I could have sown a Vogue retro pattern, a long, elegant and tailored gown for the occasion. Bummer. Just in case you didn't know what Old Hollywood attire was too:

The next missed event was to dress in the decade I was born. Okay, back to Google for the fashion trends in the 19—never mind the year.  

So I have a history of playing make believe, maybe that’s why I create a world of make believe with every story I write. Check out Grandma BB in every book in the Jamieson Legacy series:

Pat is the multi-published author of more than thirty Christian titles, and is a three-time recipient of the Emma Rodgers Award for Best Inspirational Romance. She has been a featured speaker and workshop presenter at various venues across the country.
As a self-proclaimed genealogy sleuth, Pat is passionate about researching her ancestors and then casting them in starring roles in her novels. She describes the evidence of the gift of the Holy Ghost as an amazing, unforgettable, life-altering experience. God is the Author who advances the stories she writes.
Pat currently oversees the media publicity for the annual RT Booklovers Conventions. She has a B.S. in mass communications from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts.
Pat converted her sofa-strapped, sports fanatic husband into an amateur travel agent, untrained bodyguard, GPS-guided chauffeur, and administrative assistant who is constantly on probation. They have a son and a daughter. 

Her newest release is Love Led By the Spirit. Minister Rossi Tolliver is ready to settle down. Besides the outward attraction, he desires a woman who is sweet, humble, and loves church folks. Sounds simple enough on paper, but when he gets off his knees, praying for that special someone to come into his life, God opens his eyes to the woman who has been there all along. There’s a slight problem. Jesetta “Jet” Hutchens lives by her own set of rules. Love is the farthest thing from her mind. But Rossi, the man and the minister, is hard to resist. Is Jet ready to allow the Holy Spirit to lead her to love?

Read more about Pat and her books by visiting or on social media.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

It’s Not Too Late

My husband is turning fifty in a few months, and I find myself approaching the same age in a few years. For some reason, that number makes you stop and think. Think about the things you’ve done or haven’t done in your life.

I read an article online one day that posed the question; If you could do one thing before you turned fifty, what would it be? This sparked a question I’ve internally struggled with for many years, can I complete graduate school? Unfortunately, this is a more difficult challenge than what it seems like on the surface. You see, I suffer from a language disorder. A disorder that had me labeled mentally retarded and stuck in a trailer behind the school as a child. Back then, if a person had a speech issue, or didn’t learn to read as easily as others, we were branded mentally challenged. Fast forward many years later, and a little boy is born with similar issues. My youngest son struggled to learn to read, and still has difficulty with handwriting. As a mother who’d experienced the bullying and teasing that accompanied a label I was reluctant to have him tested, but to my surprise, the testing revealed something they never discovered about me. My son is dyslexic and dysgraphic. It was a surprise to learn that I had identical tendencies. Once I discovered the world of dyslexia and learning issues, I began challenging myself to pursue the dreams I thought I’d never obtain. To my surprise, I could create stories that people actually wanted to read. :)

Still, even after my moderate success as an author, I longed to prove to myself that I could not only pass, but excel in graduate school. I’m proud to say that a few months ago I was accepted into a graduate program and I’m working on getting my Masters of Arts in English with an emphasis on creative writing. What is significant about this is that I never attended normal language arts classes in grammar, so I have a huge learning curve. My hope, is by the time I’m done with this program I’ll no longer need two editors for quality assurance purposes, and I’ll finally feel like a real author.
One more note, I completed my first class last week and I made an A. It wasn’t easy, but it was worth the sleepless nights, and an overabundance of coffee consumption. ;)

I pose the question to you, now. What is your hidden dream you always wanted to accomplish? Is there a place you’ve always wanted to travel, or a talent you have always wanted to explore?

Ciara Knight is a USA Today and Amazon Bestselling author who writes 'A Little Edge and A Lot of Heart' that spans the heat scales. Her popular sweet romance series, Sweetwater County (rated PG), takes readers into small town romance full of family trials, friendly competition, and community love. 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

5 Things to Love about Fall

* Candles

Whether it's pumpkin spice or cinnamon, I love fall candles. They instantly make a home feel warm and cozy.

* Food

For me, fall is the season for comfort food. As soon as the weather cools off, I start craving stews, pumpkin bread, and anything that makes it feel like fall. But I have to be careful not to buy the Halloween candy too early or I'll eat it before the trick-or-treaters arrive. 

* Fall Clothes

After wearing sundresses and sandals in the hot Oklahoma summers, I'm always ready to pull out my fall clothes. Warm sweaters and comfy jeans are my favorites. At work, I like to wear dresses with tights and boots. 

* Reading by the Fire

Last year, my family and I moved into a new home with a gas fireplace. All I have to do is flip a switch. It's heaven. This time of year, I love to turn it on and curl up with a good book

* Fall themed books

Speaking of reading, I love books with an autumn setting--football games, festivals, Halloween, pumpkins. It's all very cozy and romantic.

New Release! 
Cowgirl in the Kitchen

Just as she's about to make her dream come true, disaster strikes. The only way she can get back in the saddle is to strike a bargain—with a man her family despises. 

Jentry Lawson's dream of becoming a world-class barrel racer is about to happen—until she and her horse are injured in a terrible accident. Forced to move back home to Texas to recuperate, her Dallas-based brother makes her an offer she can't refuse. He needs someone he can trust to oversee the renovation and grand opening of his new restaurant. If she'll take that on, he'll finance her return to the arena. It doesn't take Jentry long to discover she bit off more than she can chew. Swallowing her pride, she asks for help from Gavin Easton—a man her brother despises. But he's the one person who can make the restaurant succeed. 

People in Glover never thought Gavin Easton would amount to anything. Ever since his own restaurant in town burned down, he's taken odd jobs to provide for his niece, whom he is raising alone. When beautiful and stubborn Jentry offers him the perfect job, his first reaction is to turn her down flat. No way he's going to do anything to help her brother! But there's more at stake than his pride. Can he trust his future to the woman whose brother tried to ruin his reputation—and his life? 

Besides, how can he manage a restaurant, when he can't manage his heart?

USA Today Best Selling author Julie Jarnagin writes sweet and inspirational romance. She grew up in a small Oklahoma town where her family farmed and ranched. These days she lives in a not-so-big city with her amazing husband and two young sons who tolerate all her nerdy quirks. Julie earned a B.A. in Journalism / Professional Writing from the University of Oklahoma and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. www.JulieJarnagin.comSign up for her newsletter for a FREE Christmas novella

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Friday, October 21, 2016

Dusting by Milou Koenings

I don't usually let mess get to me.  But I do like things clean.  (There's a difference between piles of paper spread out on a clean table, and piles of papers strewn over half-eaten apples and candy wrappers, after all.)

Francois Shnell, cc-by-2.0

The trouble with being a "clean-nik," as opposed to a neatnik, is that it is a losing proposition in a houseful of kids. At the end of the day, there's never enough time to make everything as sparkling clean as I would like it. Scrubbing bathroom tiles always comes in a last when it’s a choice between that or feeding the troops, making sure they have clean clothes, and getting to bed before midnight. 

As for dusting... let's just say that when I was waiting at the dentist recently, rereading an old Agatha Christie mystery that had been left there, and the detective in the story noticed "day-old" dust in the murder victim's home, I laughed out loud.

So there I was, one evening, duster in hand, trying to polish up our living room, despairing that I can never get it as perfectly clean as I would like.

In a moment of frustration, I looked at the stuff on the hutch above the china cabinet and exclaimed, "I'm getting rid of all of this. All it does is collect dust."  I grabbed the carved owl statuette that my mother had given me the day I got my first job after college. "I'm packing this up."

My beloved came over and took me by the shoulders. "Stop." I was turned around to face the three shelves and their ten or so knick knacks. "Do you know what I see when I look at this?

"That's the souvenir we bought that day at the crafts fair..."  Yeah - fifteen years ago. It was a perfect day. Just the memory made some of my tension melt.

"That's what your mom got you when you got your first writing job — and that other owl, that was also a gift from mom.

"This tree of wire and stones — the kids were so proud to have made that. And this jar from my grandmother's house, it reminds me of all those visits to her. The seashells? Didn't we have a wonderful time when we took the kids to the beach? They were so happy! That brass candelabra from your grandfather, I know how much it means to you.

"You know what I see when I look at this? I see our life, our family. I see our home.  And I hope it is dusty. I hope it's full of dust. Because that means we're far too busy taking care of our kids and each other and living our life together, to worry about a little dust."


What could I say? Except I'd just fallen in love all over again.

You might still find me waving around my duster late at night, but now each time I walk by that hutch and spy some dust, I can't help but smile.

Milou Koenings is a USA Today bestselling author. She writes romance because, like chocolate, stories with a happy ending bring more joy into the world and so make it a better place. 

Her Green Pines sweet romances, Reclaiming Home and Sweet Blizzard are available on Amazon and

You can find her on her website,, on TwitterFacebookPinterest, or Instagram.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Writing Worlds at the End of a Dead End Road

I love Autumn. It’s my favorite season with its mild temps, low humidity, and colorful leaves. The other day I was posting about my love of the season when I realized that while I was writing about my memories of the season, I was describing settings in my books. Not surprising, really, but fascinating in its own way. Whether it’s a special place the writer would like to visit, or some version of a place from their personal history, the places that exist in a writer’s mind often end up on the page.
I grew up at the end of a dead-end road. The property beyond belonged to the railroad and had areas of wetlands, so for many years it was protected from development. I spent most of my childhood in those woods, sometimes with siblings and friends. Many times on my own. Where the backyard ended and the woods began, you didn’t have to go far into the woods before you found the old wagon tracks. Those tracks led to the creek and continued across it and up the slope to a ridge. At the top of the ridge the woods opened up to an old pond and a collapsed house. Beyond that was the saw mill and the actual train tracks, and was the usual limit of my territorial range.
Within those woods were countless worlds. Two of those worlds I recall were a grove of young pines with the pristine mat of pine needles carpeting the ground beneath them, and also an area that had been burned out in a prior year where suddenly pink Lady’s Slippers bloomed profusely. I tried to transplant a couple and my mom told me they wouldn’t survive. They didn’t, but mysteriously, many years later, one of those wild orchids suddenly grew where we’d planted the ones that didn’t. Both of those places exist in Cub Creek and Leaving Cub Creek. Yet, Cub Creek is a real place, too, in Louisa County, Virginia. It’s as if my memories exist on an old-fashioned transparency sheet that overlays the current Cub Creek area and the two have melded. I have the best of two worlds, the benefits of both, to decorate the scenes in which my characters play out their stories. Sometimes, writing, is almost like going home. Sometimes, even better.
 The Happiness In Between is the next Cub Creek book. It’s a standalone single title, and due for release January 31, 2017. It’s available now for preorder
Grace Greene is an award-winning and USA Today bestselling author of women’s fiction and contemporary romance set in the rolling hills and forests of her native Virginia (Kincaid’s Hope, Cub Creek) and the breezy beaches of Emerald Isle, North Carolina (Beach Rental, Beach Winds). Her debut novel, Beach Rental, and the sequel, Beach Winds, were both Top Picks by RT Book Reviews magazine. She is the also the author of The Happiness in Between (release date: January 31, 2017), a standalone also set in Cub Creek. For more about the author and her books, visit or connect with her on Twitter at @Grace_Greene and on Facebook at