Monday, August 2, 2021

7 Items People Forget to Pack for a Trip to the Beach

It’s August! In my neck of the woods, that means hot, sunny days at the beach. Can you imagine that 40% of the people who were asked when they pack for their trip to the beach answered “the night before”?  The night before! That last-minute scramble to toss thing into a suitcase means there are always stuff that’s forgotten. Here’s a list of the top 7 items people forget to pack for a trip to the beach.

7. An Extra Bag for Souvenirs. Do yourself a favor and pack an extra tote for to carry home your souvenirs—t-shirts, sweat shirts, beach towels, salt water taffy, delicious fudge, buttery caramel popcorn. Believe me, you’ll need an extra tote!

6. A Book to Enjoy. Relaxing on the beach is the very best place to enjoy a beach read. Hardback, paperback, or e-book; it doesn’t really matter. There is nothing like turning those pages while digging your toes in the sand.

5. Comfortable Walking Shoes. Taking a long walk on the beach can wreak havoc on the soles of your feet. Blisters are not fun. Pack an old pair of comfortable walking shoes and enjoy that stretch of sand.

4. Beach Umbrella. Sitting in the blaring sun starts off kinda nice. But after an hour or so, the shade of a beach umbrella will be a great relief.

3. Sunglasses. Protect your eyes! The sun’s rays are stronger near the water and sand due to reflection. Grab a pair of sunglasses and protect yourself from those UV rays.

2. Toothpaste. It sounds crazy, but people brush before leaving the house and forget their toothpaste. Keep a couple of travel-size tubes ready for any trips you might take.

And the most forgotten item???

1. SUNSCREEN. Yikes! Sunscreen comes in a wide variety of SPFs. When planning your trip to the beach, choose the sunscreen that’s right for you and toss it into your suitcase. Your skin will thank you!

Have I got a Beach Read for you!

ROMANCE BEACH BUNDLE 1 is on sale for just 99¢! You save $7 off the regular price of this 3-book bundle. Here’s what readers have to say about the sweet, clean bundle of books:

“I enjoyed all three. The characters were funny romantic and delightful. I would read this author again.” ~Rosemary, Kindle Reader

“I really enjoyed reading each of these books. Each had excellent story lines and drew me in from the first page.” ~Ruby B, Kindle Reader

Click here to get ROMANCEBEACH BUNDLE 1 for just 99¢

About the author:

Donna Fasano is a USA Today Bestselling Author of sweet romance, contemporary romance, and women’s fiction. Learn more about her at 
her website. Sign up for her newsletter by clicking here.

Happy Birthday to Me!

It's true. Today is my birthday. I won't be doing much celebrating though because I'm recovering from hand surgery that I had nine days ago, but that's okay. I've been recovering and watching the Olympics. 

I have a special for you in honor of my birthday. This is the first time that Gabriel's Atonement (ebook) has been for sale for just 99 cents! It's normally $4.99. Now your chance to read this exciting book that features the first Oklahoma land run, as well as a sweet romance with drama, humor, and a snarky little sister that causes lots of trouble. Free on KU.

Gabriel's Atonement

Land Rush Dreams Book 1

All Gabriel Coulter ever wanted was to live a comfortable life as a successful gambler, but a confrontation with a disgruntled cowboy who’d just lost his monthly pay to Gabe leads to a family man dying in his arms. Even though it was self-defense, the only way Gabe knows to get rid of his guilt is to return the money he won to the man’s wife.

Lara Talbot sees Gabe as a derelict like her husband and wants nothing to do with him--not even the much-needed money he's offered her. But as she struggles to provide for her family and makes plans to claim property in the upcoming Oklahoma land rush in hopes of finally having a permanent home, she wonders if God might have sent the meddling man to help.

Get the ebook for only 99 cents here

Free on KU

Other Books in the Series:

Joline's Redemption

Land Rush Dreams Book 2

Joline had lofty dreams of love and luxury, but after her husband leaves her and she makes a series of fateful decisions, Jo has fallen as far as any woman can. Bereft of all hope and with the threat of losing her son, Jo seeks refuge at her sister’s home. Jo has a long list of secrets to keep and has to look over her shoulder, as the man she’s running from may show up anywhere, anytime. Is it possible that God can redeem Jo, and give her hope for a happy future? Find out in Joline’s Redemption—book 2 in Vickie McDonough’s Land Rush Dreams trilogy.

$4.99 /  Free on KU

Free on KU

Sarah's Surrender

Land Rush Dreams Book 3

When Sarah Worley rejects Luke McNeil’s marriage proposal to pursue property in the Oklahoma Territory land lottery in 1901, the ranch hand pulls up stakes and goes after her. But he’s the last person she wants to see. The land lottery gives Sarah the chance to realize her dream of independence and a home of her own. But with it comes challenges she never considered. When her dream becomes a nightmare, she must decide whether to stay on her land or give up and return to the life she left.

Luke hopes that by winning a claim, he can give Sarah the home she’s always wanted. How can he prove his love and show the stubborn woman that he’s the right man for her?

$4.99 / Free on KU

Free on KU

These are long books, friends, and you can buy the whole series for just $10.97! 

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Lyn Cote Contemplates the Last Month of Summer

Foggy June morning

 Well, here we are starting August. I am a person who is much affected by the weather. I know some of you aren't. But I am.

I truly love summer and where I live it's short but lovely--usually around 75 degrees F by day with low humidity. Which is why it's a favorite resort area. So our little town swells with 20-30,000 visitors each week in the summer. The attraction: Within a 50 mile radius of my house are over 2000 lakes! And I live in a forest on one of those lakes between two national forests: the Chequamagon and Ottawa. 

Loon with babies in July

People I meet who live far south of me always say: "But you have SNOW." They sound as if it is a curse. Up here in the northwoods our reply is "But you have high humidity." Northwoods people HATE humidity. You would think since we're nearly surrounded by lakes, not to forget Lake Superior which is about an hour and a half due north of my house, that we would have humidity. Not so. 

July clouds

So is your summer long? What's it like? Which season do you enjoy the most where you live? Dislike the most? 

BTW, are you in the mood for a summer story? How about PRECARIOUS SUMMER?

Great suspense with a side of romance” PRECARIOUS SUMMER The story begins: Driving down the two-lane highway, Sheriff Harding yawned in the morning light. Today was the kickoff of the summer tourist season. And his first summer as sheriff. That must explain why he’d awakened this morning keyed up, yet groggy. Coffee, I just need coffee.

At this thought, the attractive image of a familiar tall blonde pouring fragrant coffee into his mug came to mind. But fortunately just ahead, the local gas station convenience store, flagged him down like a NASCAR pit crew. That’s right. I need gas, too. And I really don’t need her fancy coffee.

“Yes, but her fancy coffee is sooo good,” a persuasive voice whispered inside him.

Resolutely, he pulled in, up to a gas pump and got out. He reached for the gas nozzle, and then—BOOM! Jerking back, he looked around. From the rear of the store, flames leaped high…” 

So begins a summer filled with hidden traps, endangering  a small town and two people who deserve a second chance at love.

“A family drama, an arsonist, a romance, and more in this entertaining, well written book. Lyn Cote's characters so vividly portrayed, they are old friends by book’s end.”

“This book showed the power of faith, forgiveness, and acceptance.”

 If you want a “Book you can't put down and where the suspect and motive are not revealed until the end,” don’t miss PRECARIOUS SUMMER, Book 1 of 6 book series—Download it today! 

Friday, July 30, 2021

Last Chance for Christmas in July!

 Cool Off with these Sweet Reads!

Veronica “Ronnie” Clark has had it up to here with her family. So she shoves her suitcase into the trunk of her car along with that billowy, lacy, monstrosity of a bridal gown and hits the road. Unfortunately, her old Volvo gives out, leaving her stranded on Christmas Eve in the nearly deserted seaside town of Ocean City, Maryland. Oh, boy, does she ever need a miracle!

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Christmas Reunion by Laura Scott $0.99

Sarah Franklin is desperate to get her son safely to Crystal Lake, but driving off the road in a blizzard wasn't part of the plan. When a deputy comes to her rescue, she's stunned to recognize her summer crush, Ian Kramer.
Ian Kramer doesn't understand why Sarah has come back ten years after the best summer of his life, especially in the middle of a snow storm two days before Christmas. When he discovers she's on the run from her ex-husband, Ian vows to keep Sarah and her son, safe.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Two Christmas in July 99¢ Deals from Jean C. Gordon

Amanda Strickland wants her first Christmas as mayor of Indigo Bay to be a civic success from the animal shelter fundraiser to benefit gala to the traditional tree lighting. And movie-star acquaintance Eric Slade may be just the ingredient she needs to pull it all off.

Could Caro and Simon granting a child's simple wish change a family's future? 

Welcome to Snowflake, Colorado—a small town where wishes can come true!

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Have You Subscribed to the Sweet Romance Reads Newsletter?

 Why not? 

Our newsletter comes our four times a year and features not only our new releases BUT ALSO tidbits about our authors. 

And fun riddles and fun facts. So what are you waiting for? Click the link in the pnk box in the upper right corner! You won't regret it!

K-9 Stories by Laura Scott


Good morning everyone! I'm here today talking about how much fun it is to write and read K-9 books.

Every year Harlequin asks 8 authors to participate in a K-9 series. This year, the stories are all set in Alaska. My book, Tracking Stolen Secrets takes place in July, where the sun shines from 4 am until nearly midnight. 

Each book can stand alone, with it's own mystery, but there is also an over arching storyline that takes place across all eight books. This makes it challenging and fun for us as authors, to make sure to keep the details straight.

K-9 books are a lot of fun to write, although I will confess that in writing this particular story, I sometimes lost track of my K-9 Luna and baby Christine. It's easy to get focused on the hero and heroine's story, the danger, and the setting. I'm writing along when suddenly, I realize I forgot to mention poor Luna oh, and where is Christine?  

Luna is a Norwegian Elkhound who specializes in tracking scents and in this book, she also finds a killer.

I enjoy reading K-9 stories because each dog has a different specialty and I find their work fascinating.

What do you think? Do you enjoy K-9 stories? If so what do you like about them? 

If you've never tried a K-9 story, maybe give one a try. You will be amazed at what these courageous K-9 cops can do.

Tracking Stolen Secrets is available now!

Amazon B&N Apple GooglePlay Kobo

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Minimalist Me Part 2, by Magdalena Scott


Photo by Aleksi Tappura on Unsplash

Since I had quite a bit of interest in last month's post about my minimalist home, I thought I would tell you about my office. 

You're assuming one of the things in my office is a desk, right? Gotta be honest here--it's only a desk because that's what I call it, and how I use it. If you saw it in the wild, so to speak, you would think it was a folding table. 

I've had actual desks. But I really love my nice, plain table. 

My big printer sits on one end. On the other end is a filing tray (currently overflowing), and the little alphabetized file box that's supposed to contain some of those papers in the filing tray. There's also a copy stand to the right side of my keyboard and a pretty coaster to the left. I try not to have a lot of clutter on the desk. I find visual clutter quite distracting. (I know, I know, just file the papers already...)

Next to my desk is a little metal cabinet. The top section opens upward and holds envelopes and cards. The six shallow drawers contain all of my office supplies. This piece of history belonged to my parents. My dad kept his Exacto knives and drawing tools in it. My mother's paintbrushes were sometimes in there too. The occasional splotches of paint inside the drawers make me smile.

Also in the office: a vintage office chair, and right next to that, a side chair with a cat bed on it. Of course, Selina wants attention when I'm working. She's quite happy to curl up in the chair next to mine and have a nap. 

A small white bookcase holds writing-related books. (Many of my writing-related books are in ebook format, thus requiring much less space.) A tall cat tree has a view out the window. 

Out of sight in the closet is a two-drawer file cabinet for items I don't often need to access.

And that's it. Simple but functional. Because I find my office peaceful, I'm better able to focus.

Bonus: My desk can serve as a table if I have lots of company for a meal.

What type of office setup works for you?