Thursday, April 18, 2019

April New Releases for Sweet Romance Reads

April




Unexpected Love
Margaret Daley

New Beginnings Series - Book 2

Dedicated to her 
special needs high school students, Sadie Spencer is determined to get help for her work program even if it means she has to be creative and find a way to talk to Andrew Knight. He owns a large company that would be the perfect place for her students to work. She bid on him in a bachelor auction and won a date with him. She is excited she will have a chance to convince him to hire one of her students. But she soon realizes that God has His own reasons for bringing them together.

Experience taught Andrew that he doesn't need anyone in his life, including God. Until Sadie begins to show the successful businessman how much he has to offer her students. Although the walls he built around his heart are slowly crumbling, will he ever find the courage to make peace with God so that he can be not only Sadie's hero . . . but her husband?


Available on Amazon


1-800-Ireland
Josie Riviera

A strong-minded Irishwoman pursuing her dream. A disillusioned businessman ready to retire. Can two determined people separated by years and miles find true love at the end of an Irish rainbow?

Irishwoman Kathleen Kelly wants to renovate her new tea house in America to a sparkling shine, enticing droves of customers to Roses, NC. But the project quickly takes a turn for the worse when her hard work falls flat.

Rob Taylor knows a thing or two about running a business. He’s built Rob’s Marvelous Muffins into a thriving business catering to hundreds of customers.

With Rob in Miami and Kathleen in Roses, a May-December romance isn’t a part of Kathleen’s carefully laid-out plans. Besides, they’ve both admitted to each other how unlucky they are in love. Better to leave romance out of the picture and stick to friendship and hard work.

Kathleen has no choice but to face what she is most afraid of … commitment. 

Available for pre-order on Amazon






Only Her Heart

Lyn Cote


What will it take for a clueless computer genius to notice the loving woman at the desk beside him? 

Caring, hardworking, Annie Petrov’s about to quit the job she loves. Why? From day one she’s been in love with Jack Lasater, her computer-genius boss who--grasps intricate code and computer security but never understands people. Five years of being valued only as the executive assistant who makes his life easier is no longer enough for Annie. If she goes now, she can leave with her pride intact.

As she writes her letter of resignation, an unexpected call from Jack’s estranged, successful surgeon father upends Annie’s plan and Jack’s life. His dad’s multiple-facility Hope Medical network’s computers have been hacked. He needs Jack’s expertise to discover the hacker and prevent another intrusion. Jack wants nothing to do with his father, but Annie points out this should be a “bottom line” decision. And though she doesn’t say so, Jack needs to face his father. . So Jack grits his teeth and takes the job. Now she cannot leave, not when Jack needs her help to navigate the troubled waters between father and son.

After Jack cleans up the Hope mess and designs a new security system, the hacker steps up his attacks. Hope Medical fears he might target patient records. Someone could die. As Jack works to expose the hacker, the true reasons for the estrangement from his father will also be exposed. Is Jack ready for the truth and more importantly, ready to admit what he’s ignored all along--that he loves Annie? What will at last break through his emotional firewall?



Available on Amazon






Autumn's Shadow

Lyn Cote
Some shadows are hard to shake. And someone has a mean sense of humor. And that person is springing nasty pranks around town. Who and why? And, more importantly, how can Keely Turner and Burke Sloan, the newest sheriff's deputy, stop the malicious prankster before someone gets hurt badly?

Available on Amazon





Country Blessings

Merrillee Whren


Ten years after Rachel Charbonneau left the South Dakota farm where she grew up to pursue her dreams of an acting career, she has come back for her mother’s funeral. Rachel plans to sell the farm and return to California. Despite her bad feelings about the place, the good things, including Matt Dalton, call her to reconsider. Matt, an injured war hero, wishes he could change her mind, but he doesn’t know how a scarred soldier can win the heart of a famous actress. Can he arm himself with enough patience, faith, and love to be her hometown hero?
Available on AmazonKoboSmashwords





Second Chance Hero

Kristin Wallace



Second Chance Hero is the follow-up to The Heiress Games trilogy, featuring Serena Douglas, who not only lost the Armington fortune, but also managed to escape the competition without falling in love. 

Or so she thought…It all starts with a new challenge…and bald cat named King Tut. Serena has a chance to win a $10 million fortune. All she needs is a job. Too bad the only one willing to “hire” her is the one man she’s been trying to forget since she was a teenager.

Available on AmazonApple BooksB & N, & KOBO


Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Sweet Romance Reads' Bargain Books


Deadly Countdown, Book 4 in Strong Women, Extraordinary Situations—99¢ through April 24th
Allie Martin, a widow, has a secret protector who manipulates her life without anyone knowing until…
When Remy Broussard, an injured police officer, returns to Port David, Louisiana to visit before his medical leave is over, he discovers his childhood friend, Allie Martin, is being stalked. As Remy protects Allie and tries to find her stalker, they realize their feelings go beyond friendship. 
When the stalker is found, they begin to explore the deeper feelings they have for each other, only to have a more sinister threat come between them. Will Allie be able to save Remy before he dies at the hand of a maniac?
Buy Links: AmazonBarnes and NobleAppleKoboand Google Play



~Trying to escape their painful past, Anne and Pete go to the middle of nowhere...and find each other.~

Acquaintances in San Antonio, they never acted on their strong attraction, because Anne was married. Then disaster struck both their lives, pushing them further apart. Fate or coincidence led them both to tiny Legend, Tennessee. Pete believes they have a second chance. But without changing the past, that may not be true.

Book 5 in The McClains of Legend Series, with a stand-alone plot and HEA
99 cents for a limited time

Buy links: iBooks ~ Kindle ~ Kobo ~ Nook 


Tuesday, April 16, 2019

A Day in the Life of Writer, Kimberly Rose Johnson

Over the years I've been asked more than once to write a post about what a day in the life of a writer is like. I suspect it's much the same as yours, except I work from home, or anyplace I feel like working, and my job can demand my time pretty much any time of day. On top of that, I am constantly interrupted by my dog, my kids (who are adults), text messages, phone calls, and housework that demands my attention i.e. laundry. I imagine you get interruptions too, but they might look a little different than mine. :)

One of my new favorite parts of my job is dreaming up pictures to post on Instagram that are related to my life as a writer.

About once a week my husband and I visit this amazing coffee shop that uses real chocolate to make mochas. The place is decorated with old books and plants, along with vintage lights, a typewriter, stereo, and a feed sack lol, that one I don't understand. The vibe is so writerly--is that a word?

Aside from my new love of taking photos for my Instagram, I spend time doing what we writers are known for, writing. :)

My day begins early. I post on social media before 7:00 pacific, then I read my Bible, eat breakfast, skim through email, and finally around 8:30 I get to begin writing. Some days are easier than others to get into the groove--I imagine that's the same for all of us when it comes to work.

I write until 11:00 then I take a twenty minute break to watch Live with Kelly and Ryan and eat lunch. After that, I take my dog outside for a bit then get back to work again until 1:30 or so. At that point, I'm done with writing for the day. I then exercise, listen to web seminars, classes, or podcasts about writing, marketing, or anything that will help me grow as woman.

By 4:00 I'm done with my official work day. I say official because it's not unusual for me to take a phone call from my publisher, talk with readers on Facebook, work on a critique for someone, or scour stock photo sites for a meme or my next book cover as I "watch" TV with my husband, who is usually reading lol.

Aside from writing, one of the most fun things about my job is getting to meet up with readers. In the picture below I'm at Starbucks in Disney Springs/Orlando, visiting with a reader/blogger. It was so much fun to be able to connect with her in person.


One of the perks of working from home on my own schedule is getting to run outside in the middle of an unexpected snow shower.
The truth behind this picture is I had to have a cyst removed from my face. I was devastated by the scar and had been housebound for more than a week. I was so happy when I took this picture because I was able to manipulate my hair to cover the scar on my left cheek. It's since healed quite a bit and makeup covers it for the most part, though if you really look, it's visible. Thankfully, most people don't pay that much attention!

Well, there you have it. An average day in the life of this writer.

I'm fairly new to this blog and would love to get to know you. Let's chat. What do you do? Do you have a favorite activity? A least favorite chore? What was the last book you read and enjoyed? What's your favorite genre? LOL I'm so full of questions--the hazard of being a writer. :)

Monday, April 15, 2019

Favorite Reading Places by Alicia Street



I’ve been so busy lately that it isn’t easy to get in my reading time, but I have always somehow managed to find ways to slip it into my daily schedule.

Of course I have my favorite reading chair. An old cushioned armchair that’s wide enough for me to sit cross-legged or curl up on my side. But that’s a luxury these days.  

Like many women, I often have a book or e-reader on the kitchen counter while I’m preparing a meal. I have a slanted book holder that even has clips to keep paper pages open, and it gets transferred to the table when I’m eating alone. 

Subways and buses are great for sneaking in a chapter or two. And in the car—no, not while driving—but those lag times when playing family chauffeur and the 4:30 pick-up turns out to be more like 4:50.

My fitness club has those little television screens on the treadmills, bicycles and ellipticals. But I always plunk my e-reader right in front of it and, thanks to a good story, I’m sweating before I know it.

I’ve never been a bathroom reader, although I have a friend who swears by it. She even relaxes in the bathtub with her e-reader. No way. I’d probably just drop in the water.  

As a kid I used to hide in closets and read with a flashlight or take a book with me up into a tree and hope my mother wouldn’t call me for weekend chores. And I can’t remember the last time I’ve gone to bed without a novel that makes me struggle to keep my eyes open so I can just get in a few more pages.

Where do you like to read?

                                                                        ~*~

Alicia Street is a USA Today bestselling author and a Daphne du Maurier award-winner. She spent many years as a dancer, choreographer and teacher and is a compulsive reader of every genre. You can connect with Alicia at her website or visit her on Facebook or Twitter.


                         Don't miss the Sweet Romance Reads Mother's Day Party at our Cafe!



Sunday, April 14, 2019

Left on the Cutting Room Floor by Merrillee Whren

I have a new book out. Actually, it's a new old book. What does that mean? It is one of my former Love Inspired books that was titled Mommy's Hometown Hero. I received my rights back for that book and reissued it. As you can see, I renamed it Country Blessings, because this is the middle book in my Dalton Brothers series. The first book is Four Little Blessings and the third book is Homecoming Blessings. So it seemed logical to put "blessings" in the title of the second book. 

You may be wondering about the title of my post as well. When movies are made, not everything that is filmed winds up in the movie. The same goes for books. During the editing process, scenes get cut. 

This book is very dear to my heart because it's set in South Dakota where I was born and where I lived two different times later in my life, from ten to fifteen and again when I was in college. When I first wrote this book, it wasn't long after my mother died suddenly from an accident. In this story my heroine has also lost her mother. Although I never have lived on a farm, my grandparents did. I have many memories of visits to their farm.

When I first proposed this book to my editor, she said I could write the story, but my actress couldn't act. That seems a little silly on the surface, but she had her reasons. Focus groups told the publisher that they didn't like heroes or heroines that were actors, artists, or sports figures. Since most of my story was set in South Dakota, far away from Hollywood and my heroine's acting career, I figured I could cut what was necessary to make the book work for Love Inspired.

Just for fun I'm going to let you read part of a scene that didn't make the cut. Here it is.

     He pulled her closer. He didn't want to let her go. Nothing existed except the two of them. He wanted to disappear with her just as it could be done by magic in the movies. But that's what she was doing, making movies, and it was part of her life he'd have to live with.
     No one could take her place, but he had to share her today and forever. He didn't like the idea. He wanted to brand her with his kiss. Keep her hidden away somewhere. But he knew he was dreaming. He wanted her to himself, but there was always an intrusion like the commotion coming from the other room.
     “The make-up people are here,” Sarah called.
     “I'll be there in a minute.” She gazed at him. “I have to change. Sorry, you’ll have to go.”
     Minutes later, Rachel came out of the bedroom. She wore pants with full legs and wide bottoms. A loose fitting, cream-colored blouse with long sleeves and large shoulder pads completed her costume. Everyone watched transfixed as the make-up artists and hairdresser did their work. When they finished, Rachel looked as if she had stepped straight out of the 1940's.
     “Wow, you look really different,” Erin said, eyes as big as saucers. “You look like some of the ladies in the pictures my grandma has in her old photo albums.”
     Rachel smiled. “That's the way I'm supposed to look.”
     Matt was as much in awe as Erin. He thought of touching her just to see if she were real. “You look like someone else,” he finally said.
     “That's good. I'm not Rachel anymore. I've been transformed into Amelia.” She twirled around in the small confines of the trailer.
     “It's amazing,” Sarah said. “I can hardly wait to see the actual filming.”
     “Let's go. You can walk with me to the set.” Rachel headed for the door.
     They walked across a field where the grass had been trampled flat. Large cables crisscrossed the ground like enormous, black snakes. On the other side of a semitrailer Matt saw an area roped off near a shelterbelt. A crowd had begun to gather—farmers in bib overalls, teenage boys in ball caps, mothers with children in tow—people of every description. Inside the rope, crewmen scurried about setting things up for the scene.
     As they approached, a murmur went up from the crowd. People with cameras began snapping pictures. In that instant, Matt realized dozens of photo albums would contain a picture of him holding Rachel's hand. So this was what it was like to be a celebrity. Something about it was totally exciting, but something else was equally forbidding. A part of her life would always be open for scrutiny, and his, too, if he chose to share it with her.
     When they reached an area of chairs also set off by ropes, Rachel stopped. “You guys should sit here. You'll be able to see, but you probably won't be able to hear much.” She gave Becky a hug and Matt a peck on the cheek.
Rachel walked toward the large directors' chairs sitting in the field. Ten yards in front of the chairs two cameras were mounted on platforms, sitting on a small railroad track. The track crossed most of the field.
     A commotion in the crowd drew Matt's attention. A handsome, dark-haired man, dressed in a World War II army uniform, walked across the field. Matt thought he recognized the actor. “Isn't that Jackson Cory?” Matt asked John. “He used to be in all those cop movies.”
     “I think you're right. What do you think, Sarah?”
     “That's who it is. Rachel told me he was going to be starring with her.”
     Sitting in the chair next to Rachel, Jackson smiled and spoke to her. She leaned over and said something to him in return. Make-up artists and hairdressers did a last minute inspection as the stars sat in their chairs. Matt watched all this with a rising sense of uncertainty. He knew there was no need to be jealous, but at the same time he wanted to be the one talking and smiling with Rachel, not this handsome actor.
     Rachel and Jackson went to the edge of the shelterbelt. Cameramen manned their stations. The director appeared to be giving final instructions to his stars. Then the man with the familiar black and white clapstick stated the number of the shoot. The sound of the clapstick brought a silence to the crowd. And finally, the director called for action.
     Again Matt wanted to be in the other man's place as Rachel walked hand in hand with her leading man. They strolled. Then they stopped and talked. The cameras followed the actors' movements as strong-armed men pushed the camera platforms along the track.
     Five minutes later all action stopped. The two stars took their seats while the director talked with them. Cameras were pushed back to the starting place along the track. Soon they were doing the same scene again.
     After several takes Matt turned to Sarah. “I can't hear what they're saying, can you?”
     “No. I wonder how many times they're going to walk that same twenty feet, stop, and then do it over again.” She leaned closer and whispered, “No wonder Becky said it was boring.”
     Matt chuckled. “They should at least serve popcorn.”
     “I hope we see a little more action, especially since we can't hear what they're saying,” Sarah added.
     There was a consultation amongst all the principals, and then the filming began again. The same thing continued for about an hour until they took a break.
     Rachel had eyes only for Matt as she made her way to the edge of the roped area. “Have you fallen asleep yet? I'm sorry we're not shooting a more exciting scene today.”
     “It was interesting, at least the first time,” Matt said, knowing how much he had enjoyed just watching her.

Do you like to read about actors or sports figures, or do you prefer to read about people who are more like you?

I'll be giving away an ebook copy of the first book in the Dalton Brothers series, Four Little Blessings, to one person who leaves a comment. I will draw the winner on April 15 at 9PM EDT.



https://www.facebook.com/events/2105376836242289/

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.



Friday, April 12, 2019

Pudding in a Mug by Cindy Flores Martinez



I enjoy making my own chocolate. Although I love all kinds of chocolate, my favorite kind to make is the healthier version.

Today, I’m sharing my recipe for a microwave pudding that probably isn’t completely healthy but the ingredients are simpler than the puddings at the supermarket.

And most of all, it’s quick and easy to make--and delicious!

***Dark Chocolate Pudding in a Mug***

Mix the following ingredients in a mug:

1 tsp cornstarch
2 Tb dark chocolate chips
1 and 1/2 Tb sugar or sweetener of your choice (maple syrup, honey, etc.)
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of your choice)
1/4 tsp vanilla

Microwave for 30 seconds and stir ingredients. Microwave an additional 30 seconds and stir again. Depending on your microwave, you might need to cook it for another 10 seconds or so.

Let it cool to a comfortable temperature and enjoy it warm or refrigerate!



Cindy Flores Martinez is a USA Today bestselling author. She writes Christian Romance. She has an MFA in Creative Writing with an emphasis in Screenwriting. Her debut novel, Mail-Order Groom, started as a screenplay and movie project, which she shopped around Hollywood, New York, and other parts of the world. You can learn more about her at www.cindyfloresmartinez.com



Thursday, April 11, 2019

3 Reasons Why People Call Their Pet Cats and Dogs Fur Babies by Josie Riviera


In a recent article in Psychology Today, it was noted that the relationship between people and their pets is changing. Many now see their pets as “core family members."
I am one of those people!

Much as I did for my own children, I admit to doing all of the following for Henry, my sweet dog, a seven year old shih tzu.



I took him to obedience school (didn’t help)
I admit to spoiling him
I’m hesitant to leave him alone.

Yes, Henry is definitely my fur baby, and a core family member. 

Are you a pet parent? Please leave your comments below:

 
My newest Irish release, 1-800-IRELAND, is on pre-order. 
Fans of OH DANNY BOY will enjoy this emotional contemporary romance, and book 3 in the 1-800 series.



Two favorite characters from my previous books, Kathleen from OH DANNY BOY, and Rob from 1-800-CUPID, meet at a tea house in Roses, North Carolina.

Irishwoman Kathleen Kelly wants to renovate her new tea house in America to a sparkling shine, enticing droves of customers to Roses, NC. But the project quickly takes a turn for the worse when her hard work falls flat.

Rob Taylor knows a thing or two about running a business. He’s built Rob’s Marvelous Muffins into a thriving business catering to hundreds of customers.

With Rob in Miami and Kathleen in Roses, a May-December romance isn’t a part of Kathleen’s carefully laid-out plans. Besides, they’ve both admitted to each other how unlucky they are in love. Better to leave romance out of the picture and stick to friendship and hard work.

Kathleen has no choice but to face what she is most afraid of … commitment.

And it will take more than hot tea and marvelous muffins to bridge the gap between them.

Pre-order your copy now! FREE on Kindle Unlimited!


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. 



Remember to join our Sweet Romance Reads Facebook Cafe!