Tuesday, October 31, 2017

A Free Halloween Story - Download your copy today!

Happy Halloween!!

In honor of all the fun people are going to have today, I (Denise Devine) have decided to post a short story by a good friend, Kristin Holt. And it's FREE.
A full moon on All Hallow’s Eve.
“It’s all fun and games until somebody gets hurt.”
Blame it on the moon.

The Witching Eve
Kristin Holt

A Holidays in Mountain Home
To get your free copy, click on one of the links below...


Just click on the image to go straight to Kristin's website!
Have a great Halloween and don't eat too much candy!


Sign up for our newsletter and keep up with Sweet Romance Reads! Locate it on the right side of our blog and enter your email address under Newsletter Signup.

 Want the latest news? Join us at the Sweet Romance Reads Cafe to chat with our authors.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Happy-Sad News from Serendipity! ~ by Magdalena Scott

It may or may not surprise you to learn that there are now nine (9!) titles available in my Serendipity, Indiana series.

To be honest, it is a bit of a surprise to me. It seems like just yesterday that SMALL TOWN CHRISTMAS arrived on the scene. My first-ever effort at self-publishing. How exciting! It's just as exciting to see Book 9, A COWBOY FOR CHRISTMAS, available at all vendors.

Right now, besides the new release, there are two 99 cent titles in the series. Here's what you need to know:

First, this month's new release! Yeehaw!

Serendipity, Indiana - Book Nine

For Hannah Kincaid, it was love at first sight when she met Jacob Hollingsworth, the handsome co-owner of Serendipity’s new (and only) dude ranch. When she lost her job at the Standish family’s Christmas Tree Farm, Jacob’s sisters hired her at the Rocking H. Sure, she’s afraid of horses, but she’ll overcome all obstacles to achieve a goal. The unexpected arrival of Jacob’s bossy brother Michael turns everything at the Rocking H on its head--including Hannah’s plans.

Michael Hollingsworth was summoned to help his siblings in their fledgling business. He immediately sees a problem: their only employee is incompetent in her work, crazy about Jacob, and...completely enchanting. How can Michael prepare the ranch for the change that’s brewing, when Hannah Kincaid’s big blue eyes and uncompromising determination keep messing with his focus?



Serendipity 99 cent deals:

Serendipity, Indiana - Book One

Melissa is moving back to Serendipity, Indiana to raise her young son and run her new business—in spite of a painful past and the fact that the man who broke her heart years ago still lives in their hometown.

With his dad’s death, the work of the family Christmas tree farm has fallen to Jim Standish. But how can he hold everything together for the sake of his family, when his past is pulling him apart? Nobody can do it all, and there’s an obvious solution for the Standish family. But in Serendipity, there’s often more going on than a casual observer will ever know.

A new tragedy puts Melissa and her son in closer contact with the Standish family. Ignoring the past, and Jim Standish’s part in it, is no longer an option.

This is a story about second chances: facing difficulties of the past and not only moving on, but becoming stronger because of them. It’s also a story about “coincidences” in life that may be more than that.

A delightful touch of Christmas magic makes Small Town Christmas a story that ends on a sigh!


Serendipity 99 cent Deal #2 (Just through October 31st!)

Serendipity, Indiana - Book Seven

Sweet romance meets light paranormal. 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.

Snag your copy of A PIECE OF HER SOUL for just 99 cents here:

Why did I say this is happy-sad news? Well, it's happy because all nine titles are out, and sad because number nine is probably the end of the series--time to move on to something else. Then again, never say never, right?

Happy reading, y'all!


And--oh yeah--you can find everything about me at my website.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Sneak Peek at Framed For Murder By Mary Alford

Hi Readers! This is one of my favorite times of the year. Soon, the air will be crisp and clean, and the trees will begin turning those beautiful fall colors we love so much. Fall is a time to rejuvenate. The heat of summer is over. Thanksgiving and Christmas are on their way. It’s a wonderful time of the year.   

Today, I thought I’d share an excerpt from my October Love Inspired Suspense book, Framed For Murder. This is the third book in the Scorpion Team series. Each of these books have been challenging in their own way because they deal with a very real fear in the world we live in today. The threat of a terrorist attack.

Here's a little about Framed For Murder:

Framed for helping her partner smuggle guns—and then murdering him—CIA agent Liz Ramirez must find the evidence that will prove her innocence…before she's caught or killed. So when her squad's leader attempts to bring her in for questioning, she knows her future depends on convincing Aaron Foster to go rogue and help her. On the run from the rest of her team and the gun dealers who are convinced she knows the location of their missing weapons, Liz risks losing the proof that would clear her name. But will eluding her pursuers—and trying not to fall for the handsome commander—prove to be fatal?
You can buy the book on Amazon.


You’re being set up... The moment Agent Liz Ramirez switched on the burner phone and read the text message, her stomach turned to ice.
The number attached had been blocked. The sender wanted to remain anonymous. That it had come through on her burner phone was disturbing enough. No one knew the number except...Michael.
Her fear for his well-being spiraled. It had been growing most of the day.
She thought about her partner, Michael Harris’ earlier depression. When she’d dropped him off at his home after he’d been released from the hospital, she’d sensed something was bothering him even though he refused to talk about it.
Now, standing on his front porch, the same feeling of unease that had followed throughout the day resurfaced.
Liz rang the doorbell. “Michael, are you in there?” she called out when nothing stirred inside.
His car was in the drive. The house looked the same as when she’d left Michael to get some rest, yet the hair standing at full attention on her arms warned her the feeling was neither a figment of her imagination nor a remnant of recent events creeping in.
With the Scorpion team’s latest capture of their top terrorist threat known as the Fox, and the weapons he’d supposedly smuggled into the US still missing, the implication hinted at by his second-in-command still troubled Liz. Was someone else involved in the operation? Someone closer than any of them wanted to believe?
She tried his phone once more. She could hear it ringing inside.
Liz reached for the door handle. It opened freely in her hand. As a member of the CIA’s elite Scorpion team, Michael would know security was critical. The team had been tasked with bringing down some of the most deadly terrorists operating around the world and because of it, they had enemies everywhere. Michael wouldn’t deliberately leave the door unlocked.
With her heart hammering in her chest, she reached for her weapon, eased through the door and into the house.
“Michael, where are you?” The quiet of the house settled around her without answer. Liz forced herself to breathe as she glanced around the living room. Nothing appeared out of place. His phone lay on the end table as if he’d tossed it there.
“Michael,” she called out as she eased to the bedroom. She touched the unmade bed. It was cold. He hadn’t been here in a while. A quick search of the closet and adjoining rooms proved fruitless.
That left just one more place. The kitchen. Her stomach chewed with tension. Something was wrong; her heartbeat drummed in warning. It felt as if she were walking through cement as she slowly entered the kitchen and saw it. In an instant, her world crumbled and her worst fear became a reality.
Michael lay sprawled facedown on the tile floor. A pool of drying blood framed part of his head.
Her hand flew to cover her mouth. “Michael,” she said in a broken voice then dropped to her knees next to him. He was cold to the touch. Rigor mortis hadn’t yet set in. A single gunshot wound to his right temple confirmed the method of death. But the murder weapon was nowhere in sight.
Bile rose in her throat and she sucked in handfuls of breaths before it finally subsided. She couldn’t wrap her head around the truth staring her in the face. Michael had been murdered.
Tears filled her eyes, spilled over and soaked her jeans, yet she was powerless to stop them.
The man who’d become like a brother to her was gone and she couldn’t have felt guiltier.

About the Author:

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: www.maryalford.net where you can sign up for her newsletter. Also feel free to send her an email to maryjalfordauthor@gmail.com.
Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter.
And remember to join the Sweet Romance Reads Café too.
All the best…
Mary Alford


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

19th C. HALLOWEEN Party -- by Kristin Holt

by USA Today Bestselling Author Kristin Holt

Happy Halloween! If you're a lifelong resident of the United States, you've probably already bought candy for trick-or-treaters. Did you know Americans are anticipated to spend $3.8 billion on candy. BTW: Trick-or-Treating, and candy, are a 20th century development.

But Halloween's been around for ages.

Halloween--All Hallows Eve, All Saints Day, Hallowe'en, the witching eve--has been acknowledged and celebrated for centuries. Like most things, traditions followed immigrants from Europe, where paganism melded with Christianity. That's Old World history... I'm mostly concerned about the Victorians. All of my titles, thus far, are American Historical Romances.

Victorian America Celebrates Halloween

Nineteenth-century Americans had a good time with Halloween. Vintage sources (newspapers and books) show that "boys will be boys" (in quotation marks because the term was new to American English)--and they loved their pranks!

Muskogee Phoenix of Muskogee, Oklahoma / Indian Territory on November 3, 1892.
The Summit County Beacon of Akron, Ohio on November 7, 1887.
A wagon and a sleigh... on a rooftop?
Halloween was a great excuse to prank anyone and everyone:

"It is the season, when, under the cover of darkness, tricks are played on unsuspecting humanity, some of these tricks being of such an extremely practical nature as to cease to be a joke." ~ Pittsburgh Daily Commercial of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on October 31, 1873.

Victorian Americans also celebrated the holiday with parties. Nineteenth-century Americans looked for any excuse to break the monotony of long winters and social isolation (especially on the frontier) with as many social events as possible. After all, how else would a bachelor find a suitable lady to court?

Parties were held in young ladies' homes, where they invited their female friends ("a dove party")... but the boys did everything they could to crash the party.

Springfield Daily Republic of Springfield, Ohio on November 5, 1887.

Some social events were put on by clubs or churches. Some were supper parties...

The Wichita Daily Eagle of Wichita, Kansas on October 30, 1890.
... Others were all about games.

Ladies' party games were hand-me-downs from old European traditions:

"To walk down cellar [stairs] or around the house backward, holding a lookingglass [sic], at midnight, will insure a view in the glass of one's future partner in marriage. Stir a little salt in the yolk of an egg, and eat it before retiring, or say the Lord's prayer backward, and prophetic visions will come in dreams." ~ The Emporia Weekly News of Emporia, Kansas on November 6, 1874.

Coming Around the Corner ~


Right away (before Halloween), I'll have a "spooky" Sweet Romance Short Story set in the Victorian American West, amid my Holidays in Mountain Home Series. This story will be FREE (my gift!) to my newsletter subscribers. Don't delay!  Sign up right away to receive my newsletter notice of this free read.

[Every newsletter has an easy-to-unsubscribe link, opportunity to enter a drawing (every single month) for valuable prizes, only important news, and guaranteed safeguarding of your private information.]

Speaking of Newsletters ~ Our Sweet Romance Reads Newsletter is the bomb! Ripe with extras, freebies, up-to-date information about your favorite Sweet Romance Authors, this once-per-quarter newsletter is a favorite!

Sweet Romance Reads Newsletter Sign-Up

See Related Blog Posts:

Victorian America Celebrates Halloween

No Matter How You Say It...

Victorian America's Sense of Humor

Kristin Holt's Newsletter

Copyright © 2017 Kristin Holt LC