Thursday, April 9, 2020

Kids... by Christine Bush


I love kids.  There is something so magical and refreshing about how they think (or sometimes, don’t think!). 

There are many way that people are experiencing our “home vacations” right  now.  We are doing it surrounded by kids.  Lots of kids.  Seven grandchildren , ranging in age from 1 ½ to 17) are here with their parents.

Despite the chaos of adults working on line, and kids being home schooled all over the place, it’s quite a time for observation and introspection. 

Kids worry about different things than we do.  And some don’t worry at all. 

All in all, it’s bringing a kind of closeness we might never have had.
Some of my grands are nesting in their own homes right now, some are distant, so hugs with those are missed, though we skype and zoom and text.  And can’t wait to see them.

In my books, I’ve almost always included kids (as well as pets!), because of the joy they bring. They're often a very important part of love.

My very first book came out in 1978, “Nurse at Deer Hollow”, a “Nurse Romance” published by Avalon Books, hardcover, and distributed to many, many libraries. Many more followed.

When Avalon changed ownership many years ago, my early books were re-released, with new covers, new titles, and in paperback and electronic versions.  The current title is “Patient Heart”, still very available.

It's a sweet romantic mystery about a dedicated nurse, who finds herself immersed in danger when she travels to be a private duty nurse at a large estate.There is a hurting child in this one, healed by love and acceptance and attention.  And, of course, a puppy.  If you try it, I hope you love it!

Do you like to read romances that include kids?  What’s your favorite?
Do you have kids in your life, near or far, who make the day brighter? Kids, grands, students, neighbors?  I’d love to hear!

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!
Christine's “Patient Heart” is a sweet romantic mystery, a republished edition of her first book!

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Coping by Baking by Kristin Wallace

What a difference a month makes. What a different world we live in now thanks to this awful pandemic that has impacted so many countries. Depending on where you live, you’ve probably been in “lockdown” mode for several weeks. Where I live in Miami it’s been over 3 weeks. Only going out for the store or for walks to get some air. I’ve been freelancing for the past several years so staying home for “work” isn’t new, but now there is so much uncertainty and fear.

In times of stress - and now in times when we can't go anywhere - many are cooking and baking as a release. I pulled out an old chocolate chip cookie recipe. I’m also trying new things. We had some old bananas that were turning brown so I decided to try and make banana bread. Never made it before so I asked around. Then finally went with a classic Betty Crocker recipe, but with a couple of added ingredients from another recipe. 

My Banana Bread + Recipe

1 ¼ cup of sugar
½ cup softened butter
2 eggs
1 ½ cup mashed ripe bananas (3-4)
½ cup of buttermilk
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon (added from another recipe)
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg (added from another recipe)
Chopped pecans (if you want)
Chocolate chips (if you want)


1.     Pre-heat oven to 350
2.     Mash bananas in a separate bowl
3.     Mix flour, baking soda & salt in a bowl
4.     Mix butter and sugar in another bowl
5.    Mix in eggs and blend well
6.     Add in mashed bananas, buttermilk, vanilla, cinnamon & nutmeg. Blend until smooth and creamy.
7.     Slowly add flour mixture a little at a time.
8.   Pour into pans

You can pour the batter into bread pans, but I decided to make muffins. I still had enough batter left over to make a small loaf of bread. I set the timer for 30 minutes, but the muffins baked fast. Took them out around 18-20 minutes. The bread took the full 30 minutes. 

Are you resorting to cooking and baking to cope? What have you tried? Please share!

I hope that you are staying inside and that you are healthy. Please stay safe!

Kristin Wallace is a USA Today Bestselling Author of sweet contemporary and inspirational romance filled with "Love, Laughter, and a Leap of Faith". It's not too late to pick up her holiday box set featuring three Christmas romances (Finding You At Christmas, Falling For You At Christmas, and Loving You At Christmas). Christmas in Shellwater Key is available on Kindle Unlimited so go ahead and scoop it up now. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Knock, Knock ~ Jean C. Gordon

With today being World Health Day and 2020 being International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, at first I thought I'd blog about that. But as I started writing, I realized that with my own unavoidable worry about the two essential medical personal in our household who have to report for work--our daughter who's a midwife at a clinic in Albany and our granddaughter who works at a medicinal production facility--I thought what I could use was some humor. I suspect you can too. 

So I've drummed up five "romantic"  knock-knock jokes to share.

Knock Knock

Who’s there?
Kiss who?
Kiss me!

Knock-KnockWho’s there?
Olive who?
Olive you.

Who’s there?
Honeydew who?
Honeydew you know how much I love you?

Who’s there?
Orange who?
Orange you stunning.

Who’s there?
Juno who?
Juno I love you, don’t you?

Please share your favorite Knock-Knock joke in the comments. 

And Here's a Giveaway to Brighten Your Day

Don't miss your chance to win this International #Givaway offered by me and the other authors of the Sweet Kisses Limited Edition Box Set! Runs through 4/30.

GRAND PRIZE: One digital copy of the Box Set and a $50 Amazon Gift Card (The box set will be sent out upon release).
TWO SECOND CHANCE WINNERS will receive a digital copy of the Box Set (The box set will be sent out upon release).

Only #99¢, This sweet contemporary romance anthology collection includes 21 original stories from bestselling and award-winning authors, Including WSJ and USA Today Bestselling authors. Each piece written for this anthology is to benefit Pets for Vets. The #21SweetKisses Box Set is available for a limited time only. 

What a great way to help veterans who've been injured in service to our country and the Pets that need them. 100% of preorder profits will be donated to Pets for Vets!

OTHER AUTHORS CONTRIBUTING TO THIS BOX SET: Tamie Dearen, Judith Lucci, Evangeline Kelly, Lorana Hoopes, Jo Noelle, Jessie Gussman, Donna K. Weaver, Melanie D. Snitker, Monique McDonell, Michelle Pennington, Kit Morgan, Emma St. Clair, Jeanette Lewis, Anne-Marie Meyer, Judy Corry, Bree Livingston, Juliette Duncan, Vivi Holt, Brooke St. James, Joy Ohagwu

Available for 99¢ Preorder at Select Online Vendors
Apple Books | B&N | Kobo | Coming Soon to Amazon!

Already Preordered ~ Read Some Books for Free

This is so exciting! The Sweet Kisses Limited Edition Box Set authors and our publisher have come together to say thank you to all readers who preorder the set from Apple iBooks and Nook.

We can't offer this forever so if you would like to read some books for free, please send your proof of purchase to our publisher at and they will send you a link and a code. You will then be able to choose from any of the ebooks displayed on the page.

Hurry, our publisher has limited the time frame of this event from April 7th through April 22nd.

Step one: preorder from Apple or Nook
Step two: email Rukia the receipt of purchase(screenshot, forwarded email, etc.)
Step three: enjoy hours of reading while you wait for the set to publish live on July 21, 2020.

On a more serious note, on this World Heath Day 2020, I invite you to join me in thanking all the medical personnel and other essential workers from grocery story clerks to warehouse workers to firefighters, police, and military and everyone in between who's still on the job for us all during this trying time.

For My New Releases
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Visit my Website 
Twitter: @JeanCGordon

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Being thankful, keeping busy... Roxanne Rustand

I hope this finds you and your loved ones healthy and safe.  I am praying for all of us.  How are you managing these days?   What are you missing the most? Have you found some silver linings during this time of isolation? 

I miss seeing our kids and grandkids.  A lot.  But...we talk on the phone and text, and that will do for now.  I am just so grateful that they are all well, and not for the world would I want to risk that with visiting them. Today, our son and grands came out for a pony ride on Susie. It was so nice to watch-- but we kept our distance!

This morning I was curious about my naivete back at the beginning of 2020, before this all began, and  looked back at my January post here on Sweet Romance Reads. Not a glimmer of awareness about what was to come, though I have been using these goal setting steps to make the best use of my time while we shelter in place.

 I'm filled with anticipation as I look forward to a busy and (I hope)  productive year. 
Have you set any goals for 2020?  I don't mean New Year's resolutions, but concrete goals. A newsletter from a local doctor's office suggested the following:
      1. Make five short-term goals. Write "due dates" for each one 

    on your calendar. Add five more when those are done.
      2. Make five long-term goals.
      3. For each goal, list three action steps that you can take.
      4. Print this list of goals and post it where you can see it every


Have you been tackling projects large and small while trying to stay at home?   I've been making list after list, cleaning, sorting, discarding, and adding to the items to donate to a local mission or the Salvation Army store. The mountain is growing--reminding me that I should have been better about tackling these tasks all along. If I'd done that, I wouldn't be so eagerly awaiting the day when those places are once again open for donations!

Do you see this experience changing your attitudes and actions even after Covid-19 virus is eventually under control? 

I believe I will treasure time with relatives and friends even more. Be even more grateful for every day we are granted on this earth. But in the meantime, the sun is shining today, the grass turning green. There's a symphony of bird songs all around....and come evening, we'll again hear the lovely chorus of frogs. The renewal of spring is here, and Easter is just a short time away. 

Blessings to you all!

Roxanne Rustand

Friday, April 3, 2020

Discover Library Apps by Donna Fasano @DonnaFaz

During this time of self-isolation, I have wondered what I might be able to do to be helpful. I have been using my local library via its various library apps (the physical building is closed). I have been enjoying audiobooks, but there are also ebooks and magazines, and movies available for use. All free of charge. I thought I would alert people to these library apps and how to use them.

First, find your local library’s website online, and if you don’t have a library card, apply for one online. It costs nothing for you to apply for a card/account. The “apply now” button on my library’s website is easy to find:

Second, find the link on the website that allows you to download an app. Some of the apps available on my county library’s site are specifically for children which is great for those of you who have children at home. Other apps give you access to movies, magazine, and newspaper, just to name a few of the available resources. The “downloading and streaming” apps on my library’s site were easy to find:

I have also downloaded an app called Libby that allows me to search my library directly from my iPhone (rather than going through the library’s website). If you have an iPhone, click the Apple App Store icon, search for the library app used by your library, and click “get.” Libby and Overdrive are two very popular library apps. Once the app has been downloaded on your phone, click it to open. Then log in, using your library account number. Once you’re logged in you can search for thousands of ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, and other free reading material.

Library apps are easy to use, and best of all, they’re free! I hope you find this information helpful, and please remember to STAY HOME AND STAY HEALTHY.

Have you used library apps before? Or is this new information for you? Comment below.

About the author: Donna Fasano is a USA Today Bestselling Author. Learn more about her on her website. Sign up for her newsletter for information on sales and new releases.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Are You Going Stir Crazy? by Vickie McDonough

I have lots of things to keep me busy, including packing for a move, but there's something about being forced to stay home that makes me antsy, even though as a writer I'm used to working from home. I miss jumping in the car and running to the store or to grab some fast food or having lunch with a friend. Now we plan our trips and go mostly during senior hour. Of course, you can spend much of your free time reading, and this is just the place to find some great books, but here are a few more things you can do.

1. Organize your photos. Two years ago, I went through all of my boys' photos and sorted them into a pile for each boy. This included their own pictures, as well as pictures of each of their brothers. I also added school papers they'd made and reward certificates/pins/letters they'd earned at school. On top of the plastic box, I added a colorful starburst and wrote: "Brian McDonough, This is Your Life." Then I gave each one their box at Christmas. They loved it! I was ready to downsize, and size my sons are all grown up, so I knew they'd take care of the items I passed on to them.

2. Take a scavenger hunt walk. I've seen online where people are organizing scavenger hunts for their children while doing a nature walk. Kids can hunt for things like a purple flower, butterfly, acorn, a dandelion, cardinal, and so many other things. Even if you don't have children, this could be a fun thing to do with your spouse or a friend.

3. Clean a closet. You probably have one that needs it. 

4. Try a new recipe. I've been cooking more have come up with a few different things to make.

5. Try working some puzzles. It's a great brain exercise and helps keep you mentally alert. I have a word search book and a coloring book you might like: USA Word Find and Stained Glass Mandalas. Both are available on Amazon.

Let's circle back to reading. I have a fun book that's on sale for 99 cents for a few more days. 

The Prodigal's Shotgun Wedding

A prodigal’s hope for a happy homecoming is derailed.

Clay left home after his brother’s death—a death for which he was responsible. After years away he’s finally returning, hoping for reconciliation with his father. But when the stagecoach he’s riding in wrecks and he is injured, he finds himself in a fight for survival.

Jolie is fleeing a nightmare situation. She desperately hopes becoming a mail-order bride doesn’t land her in a worse place. When the stage crashes and she spends the night alone with a wounded man, she wonders if her intended will still want her. If he doesn’t, what will she do? She has no money and nowhere to go.
Available on Amazon / Free KU

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Lyn Cote Asks the April Question-Pinch or Recipe?

Are you a pinch cook? Or a recipe cook? Or a little of both? Or a non-cook? ‘-) 

I define a pinch cook as a cook who walks into the kitchen examines the ingredients in her pantry and fridge and comes up with a meal that she creates, kind of like a ‘play by ear’ musician. 

Or do you only like to cook from recipes that you carefully select from favorite cookbooks, family favorites or food show? Or both? Or not at all? I really want to know. And believe it or not--I will relate this to writing. Yes, I will. So which are you?

BTW, today is the LAST DAY of the 99 cent special on my newest book PRECARIOUS SUMMER.

Beautiful shore, dangerous season~
Audra Blair, a young single mom, has opened “Audra’s Place,” a coffee shop-bakery counting on the summer trade. Tourists flock to the shore of Lake Superior for summer fun~not booby traps that explode into flame. New Sheriff Carter Harding, still trying to live down his wild youth, faces this challenge and the hostility from Audra’s uncle. Can Audra and Carter break free of the past and have a future together? And will Carter crack the case before someone is severely injured or dies?

For more info, click here.