Thursday, April 11, 2024

Daufuskie Dreams: Setting out on a Gullah Journey by Josie Riviera

Welcome to Daufuskie Island, where time slows down, and the rhythms of Gullah culture come to life. This inviting getaway off the South Carolina coast is more than an island; it's a testament to the resilience and creativity of the Gullah people, descendants of West African slaves. These people were brought to work on the plantations of the American South, and founded communities in the Sea Islands, particularly Daufuskie.

I live in the Charlotte, North Carolina, area, which is about four hours away from Hilton Head Island.

When my family and I visit Daufuskie, we board a ferry from Hilton Head Island to Daufuskie, which takes about an hour. The ferry runs four times a day. Once we get there, wandering the sandy path beneath moss-draped oaks is one of my favorite ways to explore the island. Or, you can rent a golf cart.

The Gullah language, a creole rooted in West African languages, is a link to the past, inviting you to be a part of history when you visit.

If you peek through the local galleries and workshops, you'll see artisans craft sweetgrass baskets and wooden carvings, each piece telling a story of the Gullah way of life. On Daufuskie, tradition meets innovation.

Stay tuned for my next blog post, where I'll delve deeper into the fascinating world of Gullah culture on Daufuskie Island.

I'm thrilled that my sweet beach romance novel, Pink Coral Island, is available on Kindle Vella. I was thrilled to explore this episodic format, and hope you'll enjoy it, too.

I spent many months researching this book and the Gullah culture, which takes place on a fictional island off the South Carolina coast. The culture is an important part of the book, and becomes almost like another character.

Kindle Vella is available here, and the first three episodes are free! Start reading today.

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

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Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Are you a pet person? by Christine Bush

Are you a pet person?

I love pets.  Most pets (mostly ones that have fur or hair, not so fond of snakes and lizards, I must admit).

So it only comes naturally to include pets in my sweet romance novellas on many occasions.

In “Hannah’s Heart”, our tough-guy hero who is rehabbing a damaged leg shows his true colors by rescuing puppies on crutches during a snow storm.  Who can’t love that guy? Hannah's Heart eBook : Bush, Christine: Kindle Store

In “Lucy’s Laugh” our heroine volunteers at a horse farm that provides remedial riding for the handicapped, and encourages our hero to join the ranks.  Fun! Lucy's Laugh eBook : Bush, Christine: Kindle Store

In “Christmas with the Cat Lady”, our hero comes to stay in a mountain farm house, arranged by his panicked editor when he suffers from writer’s block due to grief.  But the woman who owns the house rescues cats, and they are EVERYWHERE.  He had NO idea how soothing and healing a cat can be.

In “Kelly’s Kiss” our heroine works with organizations that train service dogs for disabled vets.  Our hero needs a dog, and he’s frustrated with the complicated process to be approved for one.  So he uses his military skills to track her down, and sets about changing her mind. And that means he has to HELP her with her canine brood, and he learns more than he ever expected.

Kelly's Kiss: A sweet romance novella - Kindle edition by Bush, Christine. Romance Kindle eBooks @

Check them out, all available in print or download. I’d love to hear what you think!


Love,   Christine


Christine Bush is a USA Today Bestselling author of romance, romantic mystery, and suspense.  She can be found living in the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania with her husband and 2 lazy cats, and spending time with her 14 grandchildren.   When she’s not writing, she’s teaching Psychology at a local college, and working with clients in her private practice as a Marriage and Family Therapist. She loves to hear from readers and writers! 

Sunday, April 7, 2024

You Talked Me into It ~ Jean C. Gordon

According to Statista, 53% of Americans have listened to at least one audiobook as of 2023, up nearly 10% since 2020. I have to admit that I am not one of them. I'm very visual and not sure how much I would enjoy hearing a book. But that's just me, and I know many readers really like them. So ta-da, I've released my two newest books in audio format on Amazon.

How about you? Have you tried any audiobooks? What did you think? Pros/cons?


The Hopeless Romantics of Willow Ridge series are sweet, small-town contemporary romances. Each book is a standalone and can be read individually or as part of the series. Can their book boyfriends lead a book club of hopeless romantics to a real happily ever after?

Sorcha Laurent’s family-owned distillery has become her whole life. A far cry from where she’d expected to be when she’d left school with her newly minted MS in Chemistry and a sparkling new engagement ring on her finger. The family-business emergency that brought her home to the small-town of Willow Ridge has cost her a fiancée and her dream job in medical research. Now she’s at the end of the five-year agreement to manage the family distillery. Sorcha is ready to get back to having a life of her own. It’s time to throw in the bar towel and figure out what new dream might replace the one she lost. Little does she suspect that dream might involve potential business rival and swoon-worthy scholar, Ross Campbell.

A former Scotland National Rugby team player Ross Campbell is on track to his dream job, a professorship at his alma mater Edinburgh University. All he has left is to finish his doctoral thesis, while earning a few bona fides as a history teacher at an exclusive boys school outside Savannah. The fact that people here in the States accept him for himself, not as a former rugby star nor an heir to the Campbell Beverage conglomerate, is only frosting on the cake. And there’s no overbearing grandfather around pushing him to join the family corporation. Ross expects all things to continue according to plan, but meeting fiery Sorcha draws him down an unexpected and surprisingly enjoyable path.

When Ross catches Sorcha’s eye at the Savanah Scottish Games because he looks just like her historical romance book boyfriend, little do they know where their chance meeting will lead. A 50-year-old connection between her grandmother and his grandfather. A centuries-old mystery about a rumored stolen whisky recipe. Feelings that neither have experienced before and don’t know how to handle.

Will Sorcha and Ross’s research sessions take them beyond solving the recipe mystery and their intertwined ancestry to true love? Can they break free of family obligations and interference to live their dreams in a future together?



Fiona Campbell can’t believe that her Hopeless Romantics of Willow Ridge book club is reading a romance with a rock star hero. Let alone a story that mirrors her younger years in Scotland. Younger years that the friends she’s made since moving to the States and taking on a partnership in Euans’s Distillery know nothing about. Moreover, she’s recently learned “her” rock star is a hometown boy.

Kyle McCabe is about to do something he’d vowed never to do: bring back his band, the one he destroyed with his personal downward spiral 15 years ago – Rebel Picts. It’s for a good cause, a benefit concert at the Willow Ridge summer festival to help the family of his deceased best friend and bandmate. Little did he know when he agreed to the concert that the cause of that spiral, Fee Campbell, now lives in Willow Ridge.

Initially, Kyle isn’t ready to forgive Fee’s youthful desertion that exploded their college relationship. When he needed her most, she abandoned him and the band and broke his heart. But as they work together on the concert and reviving the band, adult trust and love take root. That is until Fee repeats her teenage dump-and-run behavior.

As Fiona confronts her hidden history, she and Kyle must navigate a labyrinth of old wounds and new feelings. Will they overcome the shadows of their past mistakes to embrace a future together? Uncover the magic of forgiveness and second chances in this heartwarming tale of love rediscovered.


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Thursday, April 4, 2024

Spending Easter weekend in three states....and a free e-book for you!

Did you travel anywhere for Easter, or were you at home? 

Usually, our family holiday celebrations are at our house, and I do love all the food prep and having everyone gathered under our roof.  We might have 20-25 people, and it is such a joy to have them all here. 

But this year was quite a change! On our way to Minnesota, we dropped off Easter baskets for our two-year-old granddaughter at our daughter and son-in-law's home in this state. 

We spent a Good Friday in the Twin Cities (MN) to take my brother out for his birthday dinner. Then we drove onward to Wisconsin for church and Easter dinner with our oldest son and his family. What fun!  

After my parents passed away, my husband and I then became the hub for holiday celebrations, so such travel is now rare.
I just pray that our kids and their families will still gather for at least some of the holidays when we are gone. It's tricky though, since they all have in-laws to visit as well.  

How does your extended family handle the various holidays?

I just had a brand-new release this week, FINAL TRUTH.  

A lot of you helped me decide on the cover art, and now here it is!  I really enjoyed writing this one, as the llama definitely added a different dimension.   :)

CLICK HERE to see it on Amazon and read about it.
I hope you will enjoy it!

Leave a comment, and you will be in a drawing for a free copy of FINAL WITNESS, another book in this series.

Wishing you all my best for a wonderful spring,

Roxanne Rustand

Sunday, March 31, 2024

Lyn Cote Asks Real history? Or made up history? Which do you prefer?

Real history? Or made up history? Which do you prefer in your reading of historical romance?  

This is the first cover in my “Lone Star Courage” series coming out in June! 

What do you think? I love it. It’s title is LOVING AGAINST ALL ODDS and its subtitle is “A Christian Frontier Texas Romance.” It’s book 1 of 3 and will debut in early June!

And leads to my question: Do you enjoy reading and “learning” about the true history of the West? I love doing historical research. (I have a Master’s degree in American history.) I love reading eye witness accounts of actual events and digging into what really happened, not what Hollywood “dreamed up.” How about you? Do you have any pet peeves about this? I have some! 

Tease: Did you know that from 1821 to 1846 that Texas was

  1. a Spanish colony
  2. part of the Mexican Republic
  3. a sovereign nation 
  4. and finally part of the USA!

I can’t wait to take you on the journey through the lives and loves of the people of Texas—all of them!-Lyn Cote 

Friday, March 29, 2024

Writing a K-9 Series by Laura Scott

Good morning! I'm thrilled to be here today to talk about my next book. How many of you like K-9 stories? (Raises hand). I love dogs so writing about the amazingly talented K-9 police dogs is so much fun.

If you are interested in reading one K-9 story, how about a series featuring ten of them? And with an over arching mystery that gets solved at the end? 

Doing a project like this is not easy. Each author gets an overview document that briefly describes the characters, the different plots for each individual book and the overarching suspense plot. The overview for this series was 70 pages single spaced. Yikes. It's a lot to keep track of but working with the other authors makes it fun. 

Baby Protection Mission is the first book in the Mountain Country K-9 series. This is a series through Love Inspired Suspense and I have been blessed to work with nine other talented authors on this series. There are eight full length books and one Christmas book featuring two novellas. Trust me, you won't want to miss a single one!

When a baby is targeted, 
can a K-9 team keep him safe?

When his sister is kidnapped, rancher Cade McNeal will do anything to prevent his baby nephew from being next. Now Officer Ashley Hanson and her K-9 partner are on the case, and it’s up to them to track down the assailant and keep Cade and his nephew from harm. But as the suspect list grows and the attacks escalate, will they bring a kidnapper to justice…before he strikes again?

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Sunday, March 24, 2024

My Ancestors Tell My Stories by Pat Simmons

Hands down, the best room in my house is the family room. It's spacious, inviting, and showcases dozens of dozens of my daughter's bowling trophies from high school to college. But that's not the conversation piece that beckons guests to come and take a closer look. It's the decor. 

Mugshots of kinfolks. A  snapshot of our past and present family members. Some I've never met but would have loved to share a cup of coffee or put on trial.  

As a Christian fiction author, the best way to honor my past is to cast them in starring roles in my contemporary romances, giving one or two characters my ancestors' names. Only an amateur genealogy sleuth would devise a plan to track down readers who might turn out to be family if they can connect the dots.

Genealogy research has played a significant role in my writing career. I have created a family saga about tenth-generation descendants of a royal African trial who are some of the best trackers in finding lost family by any means necessary. The Jamieson Legacy series is a fan favorite, with strong, confident black men of faith falling in love with beautiful black women of faith.  It's fourteen books and still growing. As long as I can uncover past records, there will be stories to tell.

Going through the 1860 Mississippi Morbidity Book dared me to ignore the small details that screamed, "Pay attention." The very detailed book listed the following information:

The last name, first name, years alive, months alive, days alive, cause of death, and county.

When I turned the page to the last name N, I wasn't prepared, nor could I have guessed that Negro was used as a surname for people with first names from A to Z. This is where I pause for a moment of silence to pay respects for all they endured unimaginable injustice in life and attempted erasure in death. But I found them!

One such story in the Jamieson Legacy is Guilty by Association, in which a young man from a single-family home disdains his father's surname. The theme is, "It's not a name that makes the man; it's the man who makes his own name." 

Another book in the same series is Contempt: Grandma BB's Shenanigans. Written in a dual timeline, I felt part of the story that unfolded during my childhood, when the Civil Rights era meant little to me. Now, I'm glad I did the research to learn more about American Black history in my own backyard.  Besides the historical events, Grandma BB takes center stage with her antics: Grandma BB, the unofficial matriarch of the Jamieson clan, is getting her house in order for the perfect homegoing celebration. After all, she’s eighty-something. She summons Parke Jamieson VI, his brothers, cousins, and their families to play a part in the practice funeral program—only if they follow her instructions to the letter.

Since the Jamiesons are at her house with bodyguards Chip and Dale, they might have an impromptu family game night. The evening is full of surprises, especially when an unexpected visitor shows up to steal the show. With more work that needs to be done, Grandma BB plans to put her funeral on hold and stick around for a couple more generations.

Finding my roots, as well as others. Doing research is my excuse for field trips to historic places in my city and other states.

I've been able to locate two slaveholders on my mother's side, possibly two men on my husband's side, and narrowed down one on my dad's side.

All my ancestors didn't leave a long paper trail, but I'm stepping in the faint footprints of those who have a story to tell me and the next generation. 


Pat holds a B.S. in mass communications from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts, and has worked in radio, television, and print media for over twenty years. She is on the Christian Book Lovers Retreat (CBLR) board as a publicist. Visit her at

 Pre-order Book 3 in the Intercessors series, DAYS ARE COMING