Wednesday, April 26, 2017

When You Least Expect It, Miracles Happen

Hi, everyone. My name is Mary Alford and I write Christian romantic suspense along with small town Christian romance.

Being an author was always a dream of mine since I was a pre-teen, but it was a long time before that dream came true in what I truly believe was a miracle.

For me, years of writing came down to five minutes in the spotlight. In 2012, I entered the Speed Dating Contest that Love Inspired editor Emily Rodmell hosted and I was one of the lucky ones who got an appointment to chat with Emily. On the day of the pitch, I was on vacation in Colorado. At our cabin, internet service is nonexistent. I could have given up and said, well, that’s it, better luck next time, but I didn’t. My husband and I drove into the small town of Pagosa Springs where I did the entire chat on my laptop in the parking lot of the Ace Hardware Store.

Emily was kind enough to request a synopsis although I was so nervous she probably didn’t understand anything I told her. I promptly sent the synopsis out to her. Then she requested the first three chapters followed by the full manuscript. With each request, I tried not to get my hopes up.

In December 2012, Emily called. To this day, I can’t tell you what she said to me other than that she wanted to buy FORGOTTEN PAST for Love Inspired Suspense.

Faith McKenzie was the only survivor of a brutal home invasion. Viciously attacked and left for dead, Faith can't remember anything about that night—including the identity of the killer. All she knows is that he's stalking her from every place she flees and has tracked her to a small Maine island. Her neighbor, private investigator and security specialist JT Wyatt, rescues her twice. Now JT is insisting on the whole story—a story that Faith can't remember. Desperate to feel safe, Faith puts her trust in the handsome P.I. Yet a killer is dead set on ensuring that Faith's memory never returns.

Selling my first book to Love Inspired was a surreal moment. One that still hasn’t fully sunken in yet. It's a great feeling to have your dream become a reality and even greater to hold your book in your hands.         

 Since that time, I’ve sold three more books to Love Inspired Suspense.
Rocky Mountain Pursuit – Book One of the Scorpion series, available now.

Everyone believes agent Jase Bradford is dead—everyone but Reyna Peterson. Only he can protect her now that someone wants the information her CIA husband died to secure. As the one member of their spy team not killed, Jase must remain in the shadows. Yet when Reyna leads the enemy right to his mountain refuge and blows his cover, Jase risks his life for hers. As his best friend's beautiful widow scales the walls around his heart, whether out of loyalty or love, he makes it his duty to secure her safety. But when their pursuers trap them in the snowy Colorado mountains, will it become his final mission?

Deadly Memories – Coming June 2017.

Amnesia may be keeping Ella Weiss from remembering her past—but not from saving the little boy who's been her fellow prisoner the last seven years. After managing to escape her cell, all she wants is to find where little Joseph is being kept. Instead she runs straight into CIA agent Kyle Jennings. Kyle isn't sure if Ella is actually a kidnap victim or if she's working for the gunrunner he's been after. One thing he is certain of is her uncanny resemblance to the wife he thought he'd buried. To save a child's life and stop a terrorist from slipping through his fingers, he'll need to uncover the secrets of Ella's past—and whether or not she's really the woman he's never stopped loving.


And Framed For Murder- Coming October 2017  

Even though getting the call for each of these books has been amazing, I will never forget the feeling of selling my first book to Love Inspired. Through all of it, God has been there beside me, guiding me each step of the way.     

Publishers Weekly Bestselling Author Mary Alford grew up in a small Texas town famous for, well not much of anything really. Being the baby of the family and quite a bit younger than her brothers and sister, Mary had plenty of time to entertain herself. Making up stories seem to come natural to her. As a pre-teen, Mary discovered Christian romance novels and knew instinctively that was what she wanted to do with her over-active imagination. She wrote her first novel as a teen, (it’s tucked away somewhere never to see the light of day), but never really pursued her writing career seriously until a few years later, when she wrote her first Christian romance and was hooked. Today, Mary still lives in Texas, and still writes about romance. In fact, she can’t think of anything else she’d rather do. Learn more about Mary Alford at: where you can sign up for her newsletter. Also feel free to send her an email to


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All the best…


Mary Alford

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Today is Reader Appreciation Day! 10+ Prizes from Kristin Holt

Dear Friends--

Because I'm new to Sweet Romance Reads (January 2017), I introduced myself just three months ago on my fiftieth birthday and gave away 5 winners' choices of kindle-edition books. Remember that fun? Thank you again for the incredibly warm welcome and the ongoing support. I haven't a good excuse this time, so I'll make one up.

I hereby declare April 25th Reader Appreciation Day, as I want very much to say THANK YOU...with a drawing of TEN winners and TEN books! (impress me with the quantity of entries, like last January, and I'll double this number to TWENTY!)

Why? (thinly disguised as More About Kristin)
1.  I genuinely enjoy showing my appreciation and giving back to readers.
2.  I can't think of a better way to SAY THANK YOU.
3.  I subscribed to for the convenience of shipping paperback books without ever leaving my home office. I LOVE avoiding the Post Office! Might as well use this convenient service I pay money for.
4.  Although my name is also e-free, like the other correctly spelled Kristin on the Sweet Romance Reads team, I write Sweet Western Historical Romance (Kristin Wallace writes Sweet Contemporary)...and enjoy introducing my work.
5.  **I have no trouble giving away the farm.**
6.  I've discovered many readers enjoy collecting autographed paperback books--even if they prefer to read the kindle edition...or usually purchase/borrow the eBook.
7.  I have oodles of my paperbacks (I may or may not have the "if one is good, fifty is better" attitude).
8.  Connecting with readers is heartening, rejuvenating, and reminds me that it is for YOU that I write.
9.  I write frequent blog posts about everything "Old West"--tidbits of accurate history I found and fell in love with while researching for my books.
10.  Today, my sixteen titles are all historical...but this year I'm breaking that mold and my first contemporary will be published this autumn!
11.  I have a new page on my website For Writers. If you're writing, or want to start, come see.
12.  I'm a severe chronic pain sufferer.

1. Let's GO BIG or GO HOME. TEN (to TWENTY) names will be drawn at random from all entries, and each winner will receive their choice of any one title I've written, either in kindle OR in autographed paperback (as available).

2. Winners must be willing to provide me EITHER their standard email address or mailing address, privately, by Facebook's IM [instant messaging] / PM [private messaging] for use only in delivering their choice of book titles and formats. I promise winners will not suddenly find their email on my newsletter list or sold to some strange company. The drawing will close at midnight tonight (4-25-17), and winners will be drawn and announced tomorrow morning (4-26-17) in two places: an update to this blog post AND on Sweet Romance Reads Cafe (on FB).

3. TO ENTER, do three things: 1) Comment on this blog post, right here on with an answer to this question: What is your preferred way to learn about your favorite authors' new releases? (answers might include, but are not limited to: Author Newsletter, BookBub notices, Amazon "Follow" emails, Facebook posts, blog posts, etc.) 2) Please FOLLOW me on BookBub (I'm new there), 3) then Comment on the pinned post on Sweet Romance Reads Cafe (this link on Facebook), about this blog article-- something simple like A) repeat your answer to the new release announcement method of preference, or B) a "Followed on BookBub!", or C) "Hoping to win _(title)_" (insert the title of mine you plan to claim if your name is drawn).
Click on the image to visit BookBub

Note: If you're not on BookBub, you're missing out! You might want to take a minute to register. If not, you're not out of the running--consider an alternative (your favorite method of hearing about new releases: sign up for my newsletter, friend me on Facebook, follow/like my Author Page, or Follow me on Amazon, and let your reply to this post in comments section reflect the substitution).

4. To Sweeten The Deal: For a SECOND ENTRY (yes! your name in the Stetson, on two different slips of paper), share the pinned post about this blog article on your own timeline, making sure you TAG ME (Author Kristin Holt) so I know--and if in doubt, send me a PM on FB (with the link if possible).

Kristin Holt, USA Today Bestselling Author, writes Sweet Victorian Romance set in the American West. She writes frequently about Old West history and contributes monthly to Sweet Romance Reads, Sweet Americana Sweethearts, and Romancing the Genres.

Copyright © 2017 Kristin Holt LC

Monday, April 24, 2017

The Mission by Pat Simmons

My Mission

Hi, I’m Pat Simmons, one of the Christian romance authors of Sweet Romance Reads. I’m celebrating 10 years as a published author and I’m grateful for every reader who has posted a review and called me their favorite Christian author.

5 STARS on LOVE LED BY SPIRIT by Vera Davis…Pat Simmons is one of the best, if not the best Christian romance writers. Her insertion of scripture is the icing on the cake. I love, love, all of her books and I highly recommend this one.

5 STARS on LOVE BY DELIVERY by Theresa Cartwright Lands. Mrs. Simmons, I am just beyond amazed if she's didn't tell my story I was Dominique and sure there's many more singles can testify that they too are or, was, Dominique I am going to recommend this book to the singles president of my church if she doesn't buy this book I am personally going to buy 50 copies for the single dept. Currently, I’m in the process of writing the sequel SUMMER LOVE.

5 STARS on THE CONFESSION by Helen Smith “I must say Pat Simmons books have you struggling to them down and The Confession was no different!! It deal with truly forgiving others and allowing Jesus to mend what is broken!! I love how she reference each scripture so you can read along with the book! If you want to follow fiction Christian author Pat Simmons is great! May God continue to bless you so that you will continue to bless us!!?”

5 STARS on COUPLE BY CHRISTMAS by Kindle Customer. “I read the first part of the book in a Christmas book bundle and was hooked. Had to find out what happened to the Washingtons. Glad to see that with the help of God they were able to fix what was broken. Would love to read Marlon's story. I love how the focus on God is so evident through this book. It's so rare to find it these days.
4 STARS on REDEEMING HEART by Lali. I really appreciate the fact that authors such as Pat are not afraid to show Christians who try live by the Word on all fronts.

For me, writing Christian romance is a ministry. My stories are designed to encourage readers. Restore their faith in God and romance. Romance doesn’t have to be about sex on paper one. Romance is about the long phone calls, flowers, walks in the parks, praying together, sharing Scriptures, sharing their salvation walk, the first kiss, and of course, standing before God at the altar, pledging that everlasting love. I strive to write memorable scenes that the reader will think and talk about after the last page. Now, those are the types of stories that leave my readers breathless. Want to fall in love? Download one of my 30+ love stories.

Pat Simmons is celebrating ten years as a published author with more than thirty titles. She is a self-proclaimed genealogy sleuth who is passionate about researching her ancestors and then casting them in starring roles in her novels, in the hope of tracking down any distant relatives who might happen to pick up her books.
She is a three-time recipient of the Romance Slam Jam Emma Rodgers Award for Best Inspirational Romance Pat describes the evidence of the gift of the Holy Ghost as an amazing, unforgettable, life-altering experience. She believes God is the Author who advances the stories she writes.

Pat holds a B.S. in mass communications from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. She has worked in various positions in radio, television, and print media for more than twenty years. Currently, she oversees the media publicity for the annual RT Booklovers Conventions.

In addition to researching her roots and sewing, she has been a featured speaker and workshop presenter at various venues across the country. Pat has 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.

Readers may learn more about Pat and her books by connecting with her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or LinkedIn; or by contacting her at authorpatsimmons@gmail.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Cowgirl in the Kitchen Sale by Julie Jarnagin

Readers, I have big news! Cowgirl in the Kitchen is on sale for only $0.99 for a limited time!

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?


Julie Jarnagin is a USA Today bestselling author of 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.

My latest novel, The Vegas Proposal, is now available! 

A celebrity wedding would save her family’s Las Vegas chapel—as long as she doesn’t fall for the groom.

Have you signed up for Sweet Romance Reads newsletter? It's full of great info and fun stuff from our authors. 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Re-Introducing ... Milou Koenings

Hi there. I'm Milou. It's re-introduce yourself month here on Sweet Romance Reads, so I'm here to share a bit about me and hope you'll all share a bit about you so we can get to know each other.

Who I am

Here's the official bio:
Milou Koenings is an award-winning USA Today bestselling author who writes romance because, like chocolate, stories with happy endings bring joy to the world and so make it a better place.

Yeah, yeah, I know it doesn't tell you much besides the fact I eat too much chocolate. What can I tell you — I'm shy.

Five Funky Facts about Me

1.  Lets start with the question I'm asked all the time. That name. It's Meeloo, accent on the Mee. Not My-lou. Although I'm so used to the latter by now that I honestly don't care either way.

The only other Milou I know is also Belgian, which is exactly what someone else recently said to me, too. So it seems I have a uniquely Belgian name. Technically, it's a contraction: Myriam Louise. But my parents were overly fond of Tintin, the cartoon character, and his dog's name is Milou.  So you can see I might have some complicated feelings about canines, being named for one...

For all you dog-lovers out there, rest assured. I do like dogs - but only the really big ones. Great Danes are my favorite. Cats? I love them black.

2.   I've lived for at least a year in 12 different countries and spent time in about 30 others.

3.  Number 2 probably explains why I am passionately in love with small towns where everyone has known each other forever.

4.  My favorite bird? Owls. I have a huge collection of them gathering dust all over my house. I keep saying I'm going to box them away, but each one reminds me of a place I visited, or a particular special day. So they stay.

5.   I always need to have a dozen projects going on at the same time. So I have multiple works in progress at any given time and I still have a day job, several in fact. But whatever it is I do, I do it from home, because that's where my heart is.

6.  As you see, math is not my forte...

Something You'd Never Guess About Me

Both my mother and my granny, my father's mother, were ladies-in-waiting.  Yes, to real queens.  One of these days, I'm going to spill the beans and write a royal romance — if they let me, which hasn't happened yet. 

Why I write sweet romance

Because, as a Harvard study discovered, investing in our relationships with lovers, family, friends and community is what keeps us happy and healthier. (We needed a 75-year-long study to tell us this?) 

So as a writer, I can't think of anything better than to write about love and kindness.

You want more dirty details?  You'll find them here on my website

My sweet romances — in chronological order

I don't write my Green Pines series in chronological order. They come into the world as the characters demand their own stories.  They books feature recurring characters, but each one is a stand along story.  However, if you want to read them in the order the stories happened in the universe of Green Pines, this is how they go:

A former Marine. A single mom. Two broken people.

A twist of fate. An overbooked flight. Christmas in Africa will flip her life upside down.

Covington Black knows what he wants. He wants to believe Ella’s the one, and yet it seems like falling for her is the one thing he shouldn’t have done.

He’s an ex-con, she’s a socialite.
He saves her life, she could make or break his; will the gift of love come in time?

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