Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Heavenly music elevates us all--Susan Aylworth

This past month I had a rare treat. My husband and I traveled across two states to hear our daughter and grandson sing with the Millennial Choirs and Orchestra (MCO). This concert was in Abravanel Hall in Salt Lake City, but it served as a dress rehearsal for the same program to be performed next month in Carnegie Hall.


The concert is mostly sacred music, the program titled, "Near, My God, to Thee." Because the performance occurs near the July Fourth holiday, a group of patriotic songs come in the middle. Because they'll be performing in Manhattan, very near Lady Liberty, another song has been added, a musical setting of "The New Colossus," the poem that appears on the statue's base.

Our daughter and her family are all going to Manhattan for the concert and will enjoy the sights there for a week or so, including a ride past the famous Lady who lifts her lamp "beside the golden door." Although our family members will only sing on Saturday evening, the show will be performed over a run of three nights, July 11-14. MCO includes five different groups of musicians in different parts of the country, all converging on Manhattan to blend into three separate casts, one for each performance.

When I heard that the tickets sold out the first day they were available, I felt excited for MCO and its members in our family. Then my daughter pointed out the obvious: When the tickets sell that rapidly, it means they have all gone to family members who are making the trip. She's discouraged they will not be singing to New Yorkers and others who happen to be in Manhattan that week, but excited for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Her twelve-year-old son, my grandson, doesn't get excited about any old thing, but he's thrilled to be going to Carnegie Hall.

I'm thrilled for them: for their opportunity, for their chance to visit New York, for the rest of the family who are traveling with them. I do wish they were performing their amazing music for a broader spectrum of the population. They wanted to sing an open concert in Central Park, but because of the content of their program--both religious and patriotic music--the directors knew they could not get a permit. MCO will be in the park anyway, trying to get a picture of the three casts and more than 3,500 musicians who are traveling for this concert. (I hope they have a wide, wide lens!)

Maybe, just maybe, someone will start singing? Maybe 3,500 other musicians will chime in? Maybe there will be a flash mob in Central Park, sacred music floating through the air. As I consider that possibility, I have to realize it could possibly include some danger, and I certainly don't want to attract problems for people I love. Maybe the mob can flash wildly, singing only in my imagination.

Susan Aylworth is the author of 18 published novels. Her latest is SUNNY'S SUMMER, a novel set in the Sierra foothills near her northern California home which examines the aftermath of the devastating #CampFire. She lives with her husband of 49 years, Roger, and one old, arthritic cat. She loves to hear from readers. Find her at www.susanaylworth.com, @SusanAylworth, susan.aylworth.author@gmail.com, or facebook.com/Susan.Aylworth.Author. Also on Pinterest and Instagram.



Monday, June 24, 2019

A Picture Worth How Many Words?? by Pat Simmons

It’s an old saying, but  true. I enjoy taking pictures with family and friends at events or on trips. In this one, an author friend’s daughter captured me in a lively discussion with K.M. Jackson at a book conference last month.
The expressions on our faces, including the bewildered look on my husband’s face are priceless. Do you talk using your hands? Does your body language say it all? You don’t have to be an author to build a story around these two photos.
In the first one, I’m frowning and wagging that dreaded finger while K.M. is smiling with her cute dimple. My husband is caught in the middle and looks like he is refereeing.
In the second photo, we’re posing as if we kissed, made up and are one big happy family. For the record, we’ve always been friends and there was no argument, but a discussion about the book industry.
Well, I guess that would be enough to make someone frown.
Have you ever taken a photo where you had to explain what is happening in it?
Have a happy summer and take plenty of great photos.



*******************************************************************

Pat Simmons has penned more than thirty-five titles. She is a self-proclaimed genealogy sleuth who is passionate about researching her ancestors, then casting them in starring roles in her novels. 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 a life-altering experience. She has been a featured speaker and workshop presenter at various venues across the country.Pat has converted her sofa-strapped sports fanatical 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. Pat holds a B.S. in mass communications from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. Check out her summer reads at www.patsimmons.net.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Book Bargain from Lyn Cote, Margaret Daley, and Susan Aylworth

Limited Time Only- Regularly $2.99--0.99 through the 24th.

Some call him half-breed and all call her a lady. Few in 1825 would judge them equals~

Rafe McKuen, the son of an Osage chief’s daughter and a successful American fur trader turned planter, has one foot in each world. Since childhood, he’s visited his mother’s tribal camp near St. Louis. And at his father’s New Orleans Plantation, he’s the “invisible” but beloved son. Where will he make his home--in which world?

Miss Eve Holcombe is an Eastern beauty with influential relatives. Her father’s unexpected and sudden announcement that they are going West startles Eve and worries her. Why, she asks. But her father has a secret and a plan he won’t reveal. He insists she trust him and what other choice does she have? If she stays in the East, her ambitious aunt will try to marry her off to her aunt’s advantage. 

Both Rafe and Eve are on a journey, a Journey to Respect. But such journeys are rarely uncomplicated or without dangers. And falling in love is the most dangerous of all.

Click here for more info. 





Deadly Hunt—99¢
By Margaret Daley
All bodyguard Tess Miller wants is a vacation. But when a wounded stranger stumbles into her isolated cabin in the Arizona mountains, Tess becomes his lifeline. When Shane Burkhart opens his eyes, all he can focus on is his guardian angel leaning over him. And in the days to come he will need a guardian angel while being hunted by someone who wants him dead.

Buy links: AmazonB&NApple BooksKobo, and Google Play

Limited Time - Regularly $2.99. Now 0.99 through the 25th.

Six months after the deadliest fire in California history, Sunny Ray drives into rubble and ash, all that remains of Paradise. She is there to document the history of the Camp Fire, one survivor story at a time. Almost everyone seems eager to talk, sharing the trauma to overcome their pain. Sunny sympathizes while concealing her own troubled past.

The one stubborn hold-out is Deputy Sheriff Evan Millett. He slowly relents enough to help in her work, but refuses to share his own secrets. As attraction leads to romance, the two share confidences, revealing wounds both old and new, and leaning on one another’s trust. When the bond of their trust is broken, can their budding romance be salvaged? Or will love become another of the fire’s victims?

SUNNY'S SUMMER, Book 2 in the "Seasons of Destiny series



Thursday, June 20, 2019

Stay-cations: Books Take You To Beautiful Places by Jackie Castle

A couple of years ago, I visited a real Lavender farm, right here in Texas.
Honestly, I didn't even know that lavender grew in this state, but if you give it the right conditions, and pamper the plants a little...then you will have success.



So, a couple of friends went along with me to this lavender farm. It was such a charming place, with its gift shop, petting zoo, and lavender ice cream and iced tea. I knew it would end up in a book.

That day, The Lavender Vale Farm series was born.

Merciful Love:
They’d been kept apart because of secrets and fear. When they finally meet, will their fractured pasts keep them from seeing their common connection?

Faye Andrews wants to keep the shameful truth about her real father a secret. 

Chase Michaels wants to make his guardian's last days as peaceful as possible and vows to protect him at all costs. 

Faye’s life is heading down the road to nowhere when her mother shows up with a request Faye wants to refuse, but can’t. Her bio-dad is dying and she needs to head south to Thistle, Texas, and help set his affairs in order. Except, bio-dad doesn’t want her help, he wants reconciliation. He wants her love.

Chase’s life is spiraling out of control. His guardian, Heath, the only person left who cares about him, is dying. Vowing to protect him, Chase is wary when the legitimate heir arrives and worries that she’ll make Heath’s last days miserable and ruin all the hard work Chase has done to the farm.

A man on his deathbed. An estranged daughter. A young man who belongs to no one. And the mercy they find in a loving God who brings them all together. 


Followed by  Graceful Love:
Melanie Brown's life was sinking into a miry pit. She hated her job, had an apartment she couldn't afford, and her pride was taking a downward tumble. After being dismissed from her teaching job, as a music instructor, Melanie's mother, Lilly Brown showed up with her flying eagle RV, ready to take her to a 'safe place' on her sister Faye's lavender farm. There, in the quiet town of Thistle, Texas, she could recoup her losses. Melanie had thought her life couldn't get any worse. She was wrong.

Wild Billy Higgins loved taking risks. He'd rode bucking broncos and ran into burning buildings, but none of that prepared him for the bristly, sharp-tongued woman that had come to stay at his best friend's farm. He could have believed that Faye's beautiful sister was an angel sent from heaven if her horns weren't tilting her halo.

He'd never backed away from a challenge, then again, he'd never been up against the likes of Melanie Brown before. They say opposites attract. Billy just wasn't sure if they could ever get along and live in harmony.

Graceful Harmony is on sale for only .99¢ if you are not a Kindle Unlimited Member.

The final book in this three book series is Blessed Gifts:
Ben wasn't sure if he was father material. Then in a stopped heartbeat, he became a single parent.

Benjamin Brown wasn't proud of his mistakes, but he did intend to try to step up and do what was right, even if the baby's mother wanted nothing to do with him. When the delivery goes bad, Ben is left holding his son with no idea of how to take care of a baby's basic needs.

Lively Lilly has a plan.
Ben's mother, Lilly, takes him to his sister's farm in Thistle Texas. There is nothing for miles around except fields of lavender, gardens of produce, and an ornery old goose.
However, his sisters Faye and Melanie promised to help Ben get back on his feet. Unfortunately, he fears that he's slowly sinking in the mud.

Olivia Canales wants out.
She has outgrown her family home and nagging/interfering mother. She wants her own place, but jobs in town are few and far between. Besides, she loves working on her best friend's Lavender Farm and Faye has promised her full-time work once they get everything going and open up to visitors.

When Faye's brother shows up with a baby he has no idea how to take care of, Olivia's heart goes out to his dilemma. The deceased mother's parents show up and give Ben an out to his "little" problem: They will raise the baby, but only if he gives up all his rights.

Ben doesn't want to lose his son but desperately needs help so he can finish his last semester of college.
Olivia agrees only to end up going in deeper than she ever anticipated.


All three books take place on a lovely farm in the Texas hill-country of rolling pastures filled with an abundance of wildflowers. And lavender.... on this particular farm.

All three books are also available on Kindle Unlimited. Again, the second book is on sale until June 23rd. 

If you find yourself needing to stay home this summer, don't despair. Grab a book and there is no limit to the wonderful places you can go- in your imagination. 

Do you have any summer destinations you are looking forward to? 


Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Cheap Summer Reads for #99cents by Donna Fasano, Magdalena Scott and Susan Aylworth

June 99¢ Sale – Don’t Miss These Deals


Book 2 of The Single Daddy Club is on sale for 99¢!

Save $3 on JASON for a very limited time.
40 reviews with a 4.5-star average.
What readers have said about this book:

“Readers will love the story, and one little girl named Gina will steal your heart!”

“What I like, especially with one of the obstacles is that at first, I was outraged at the character who tried to keep Jason and Katie apart, but then, as it came to light why the character did what he/she did, you can't help but feel a little 
sympathy for them. I love when characters are not all good or all bad.”

“Well written story with strong and believable characters.”

This book is available as a free read for Kindle Unlimited members.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~



~Melissa and her son need a new start. Jim wants a second chance. The past can ruin their future...or make it magical.~

Single mom 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 there.

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!

Buy your copy for just 99 cents! books2read.com/SmallTownChristmas


~ ~ ~ ~ ~


When catastrophe begets tragedy, can love be the balm to heal both?

Six months after the deadliest fire in California history, Sunny Ray drives into rubble and ash, all that remains of Paradise. She is there to document the Camp Fire, one survivor story at a time. Almost everyone seems eager to talk, sharing the trauma to overcome their pain. Sunny sympathizes while concealing her own troubled past.

The one stubborn hold-out is Deputy Sheriff Evan Millett. He slowly relents, helping in her work, but keeping his own secrets. As attraction leads to romance, the two share confidences, revealing wounds both old and new, and leaning on one another’s trust. When the bond of their trust is broken, can their budding romance be salvaged? Or will love become another of the fire’s victims?



Book Two in the new "Seasons of Destiny" series, 
on sale for only 99c through June 25. 

Kindle     Nook     Kobo     iBooks

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

June New Releases from Sweet Romance Reads Authors



Heart of the Hero
Margaret Daley

Single mom, Lisa Morgan, struggles to raise her emotionally troubled twelve-year-old son, Andy. Police officer, David Russell, volunteers as the coach for Andy's basketball team. While helping the boy with his anger and hurt, Lisa and David each wrestle their own emotional issues. Their broken pasts keep them apart, but during the holiday season, they learn the true meaning of Christmas. Can Lisa and David forgive and forget yesterday's pain in order to share a future as the family they've both always wanted?

Available on Amazon



Kidnapped

Margaret Daley

Abduction. Death. Second chances.

When Beth Sherman interrupts a break-in at her house, her life changes drastically. When K9 police officer, Colby Parker, returns to his hometown after years of staying away, he finally must face his feelings concerning the murder of his fiancée.

Circumstances throw Beth and Colby together when a person leaves bombs in different public places around Cimarron City. They both had given up on love, but caught up in a dangerous situation, the pair find themselves falling in love. But can it last, especially when Beth is kidnapped?




Irish Hearts
Josie Riviera

A heartwarming story is the hallmark of every romance. Savor the magic with three, sweet contemporary Irish romances in Josie Riviera's exclusive 
3 Books in 1 bundle!

OH DANNY BOY
A reader favorite! This pot of gold could hold more than they bargained for…

MAEVE
He’s all business. She loves to laugh. When business conflicts with pleasure, what could possibly go wrong?

1-800-IRELAND
A strong minded Irishwoman pursuing her dream. A disillusioned businessman ready to retire. Can two determined people separated by years find true love at the end of a rainbow?

The bundle is available in ebook, paperback and large print edition. FREE on Kindle Unlimited.

Available on Amazon




Homecoming Blessings
Merrillee Whren

When Peter Dalton gets a request from his boss to work with his missionary daughter on a project to help the less fortunate, Peter fears this may mean the end of his rise to the top at Hiatt Construction. But Peter is all about pleasing his boss and will do whatever it takes to please the man.

Not happy with her father’s demand, Ashley Hiatt sees little in common with Peter, whom she remembers as a man ten years her senior, consumed with money and beautiful women. Ashley doesn’t know how their contrasting styles can work in this partnership.

Soon Peter is thinking about how to help those in need, instead of money. He's changed but not enough to let Ashley win his heart. Will this new mission teach him how to love again?
Available on AmazonB&NAppleKobo

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Happy Father's Day via Kimberly Rose Johnson

The first Father's Day was celebrated on June 19, 1910 but it wasn't until Woodrow Wilson made Mother's Day official in 1072 that the day became a nationwide holiday.
Check out this link to read more about it on the Farmer's Almanac.

Here's a picture of me and my dad when I was a baby. I had to take a picture of a picture, so I apologize for the quality.

Any guesses as to the decade this is?


Can you recall a book you've read that featured a great dad? The one that comes to mind for me is Sophie's Heart by Lori Wick.