Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Missing Christmas Already by Janice Lynn

This past Christmas was a unique one for soooo many reasons. I'd never put my decorations up prior to Thanksgiving but in 2020, I needed the lights and happiness that came with seeing my trees up. :)  Our Christmas was very anti-climatic as my husband had Covid during the holidays so we were in quarantine. We being my husband, myself, and my daughter who had just graduated college and was at home prior to starting her new job. Coincidentally, my son who lives in another state and my daughter who lives over an hour away both had COVID over the holidays, too. Finally, we've experienced Christmas with all the kids, except my son and his wife who live in South Carolina. Just as I wanted my trees and decorations up early, I'm struggling to get motivated to put them away. My daughter is home this week and is helping take the decorations down. When I look at the bareness where there was bright lights a heaviness comes over me and I want to tell her to put them all back out and up. 

I don't recall ever feeling that way in the past. I think it's maybe because we haven't celebrated with Jacob & Heather yet. Or maybe because I'm deep into writing my next Hallmark Publishing book and it's a Christmas story and so having all the decorations out is fun. Or maybe it's because I don't want the 
twinkling lights, pretty ribbons, and smiles I get when looking at the decorations to go away just yet. Regardless, when I sat down to write this post, that's what was on my mind, wondering how many of you struggled to let go of Christmas this past year? 

How many still have their decorations out versus how many had theirs packed away just as soon as December 25th had passed? I'm seriously considering leaving this slim tree up in my dining room until we get to celebrate with Jacob & Heather...I mean, it's out of the way and really adds a splash of color, right? ;)

Wrapped Up in Christmas Hope coming Christmas 2021 from Hallmark Publishing

USA Today & Wall Street Journal Bestselling author JANICE LYNN lives in Tennessee with her Prince Charming, their kids who think they're all royalty, her vivid imagination, an adorable Maltese named Halo who's the true princess of the house, and bunches of unnamed dust bunnies that moved in after Janice started her writing career. In addition to writing romance, Janice is a nurse practitioner, a quilter, an exercise queen, a military mama, and an avid supporter of the Quilts of Valor Foundation. Just kidding on the exercise queen.   WRAPPED UP IN CHRISTMAS & Wrapped Up in Christmas Joy are available at AMAZON Barnes & Noble WALMART

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Let's Make This Your Year by Merri Maywether

Every year I say the same thing. “This is my year.” I squeeze my right hand into a fist, tighten my chest, and claim it.  Then somewhere around November, I look around for evidence. Was it my year?

Last November, I waved the year behind me. Somebody else can have 2020. I don’t want her. Not really. LOL. With effort, I gleaned some great moments. 

2020 was the year where I…

☃️ learned how to make some cool masks

☃️ found friends who enjoy reading and writing sweet romance as much as I do 

☃️ made some great desserts

☃️ reconnected with friends who live all over the globe

☃️ convinced my husband to buy a snowblower

☃️ made peace with that extra five pounds around my waist

This year I made the same claim. 2021 will be my year. This year I have a tangible goal. From January 1st,  I’ve made it my objective to make people smile. At the end of every day, I write myself a note of when I achieved the goal. 

The cool thing about this goal is in the gray moments; it has been an umbrella. And, next November, when I ask myself if 2021 has really been my year, I’ll have a journal to remind me of what I wanted to achieve. 

Now, I’ll pass the baton to you. If you had one thing to prove you had a good year, What would it be?

☃️. ☃️. ☃️

Merri Maywether lives with her husband in rural Montana. You can find her in the town's only coffee house listening to three generations of Montanans share their stories. Otherwise, she's in the classroom or the school library inspiring the next generation's writers. 

Welcome Home is the first book in my Three Creeks, Montana series.
In this feel-good, love story, Abigail discovers the beauty of second chances and the meaning behind Welcome Home. 

Welcome Home is available for 99¢ at your favorite online retailer.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Sweet Romance Reads New Releases


A Chocolate-Box Irish Wedding
Josie Riviera

A woman who wanted more. A man who wanted her. Can they rediscover their love in the seaside town where it all began?

Purchase on Amazon or chocolateIrishwedding 

Trusting His Kiss
Jean C. Gordon

A Paradox Sweet Romance Novella

Trusting His Kiss kicks off Jean C. Gordon's new Paradox Lake Sweet Romance Series.

Life is complicated for nurse and widowed mother of three, Kari Hazard. Her 15-year-old son Myles is rebelling, and she is not sure how to handle it. Still, Kari is not immediately thrilled with the actions Myles’s handsome new school guidance counselor is taking. 

Eli Evans is a former Air Force officer and can relate to Myles’s feelings regarding his father who was killed in Afghanistan. Eli also finds Kari extremely attractive, but an issue from his past could pose a problem for any prospective relationship. However, an even larger obstacle is Kari’s residual anger and complicated emotions toward the military and her late husband. 

In the small town of Paradox Lake, fate (with a little help from Eli’s mother), keeps pushing them together. Can Kari and Eli leave the past behind them and find a way forward to new love?

Available on Amazon | Apple Books | B&N | Google Books | Kobo 
Buy Link

Target for Revenge
Laura Scott

Sun Yin-lee is surprised to hear from her old Mensa friend Mack Remington about her mother being in danger. Tasked with uncovering the location of a possible nuclear bomb and the deadline fast approaching, Sun reluctantly accepts Mack’s help. As danger escalates, so does the attraction between them.

Computer genius Macklin Remington has always treated Sun like the younger sister he’d never had, but working closely with her now, he realizes his feelings are anything but sister-like. As they dodge gunfire at every turn, Mack is determined to keep Sun safe while they search for the bomb. Will they find the nuclear device in time? Or is their chance for love and a future over before it has a chance to begin?

Purchase on Amazon B&N Apple GooglePlay Kobo

Saturday, January 16, 2021

A New Year A New Perspective

I had thought to write to you today about whatever national day it is, but can you believe it's National Nothing Day? Seriously! Today was set aside as a day to not celebrate, honor, or observe anything. 

Enjoy National Nothing Day!

I have a hard time doing nothing though, so I'd thought I share about my new perspective. Last year brought challenges none of us had ever experienced. We each handled them in our own way.

I was unable to focus for the longest time. I was easily distracted. Reading books took me even longer than normal because I couldn't focus. I turned to movies and television for my entertainment. That hasn't really changed much, but what has changed is my perspective.

I have decided enough is enough. I could no longer be aimless in my writing. I had to buckle down and accomplish something. The only way that would happen though was if I gave myself concrete deadlines. I did this by booking two book tours for my 2021 releases. I wrote 6,208 words this week! That's a huge leap from the 200-400 words a day I was struggling to write.

Deadlines are my friend. Who knew? Definitely not me.  

What is one positive change you've made in your life recently?

Award winning author Kimberly Rose Johnson writes stories that warm the heart and feed the soul. 

From a young child Kimberly has been an avid reader. That love of reading fostered a creative mind and led to her passion for writing. She especially loves romance and writes romantic mystery and suspense.

Learn more about Kimberly and her books at

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Quotes about Reading by Merrillee Whren

Today I'm sharing quotes about reading from famous authors.

1.  “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies . . . The man who never reads lives only one.” – George R.R. Martin

2.“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” – C.S. Lewis

3. “The man who does not read good books is no better than the man who can’t.” – Mark Twain

4. “You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.” – Ray Bradbury

5.  “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss

6. “I kept always two books in my pocket, one to read, one to write in.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

7.  “The person who deserves most pity is a lonesome one on a rainy day who doesn’t know how to read.” – Benjamin Franklin

8.  “We are of opinion that instead of letting books grow moldy behind an iron grating, far from the vulgar gaze, it is better to let them wear out by being read.” – Jules Verne

9. “Books to the ceiling, Books to the sky, My pile of books is a mile high. How I love them! How I need them! I’ll have a long beard by the time I read them.” – Arnold Lobel

10.  “Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all.” – Henry David Thoreau

11.  “Some books leave us free and some books make us free.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

12. “If you are going to get anywhere in life you have to read a lot of books.” – Roald Dahl

13.  “To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.” – W. Somerset Maugham

14. “If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book.” – J.K. Rowling

15.  “Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” – Emilie Buchwald

16.  “Books are good company, in sad times and happy times, for books are people – people who have managed to stay alive by hiding between the covers of a book.” – E.B. White

17.  “I intend to put up with nothing that I can put down.” – Edgar Allan Poe

18.  “I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.” – Jane Austen

19.  “Fools have a habit of believing that everything written by a famous author is admirable. For my part I read only to please myself and like only what suits my taste.” – Voltaire

20.  “Of course anyone who truly loves books buys more of them than he or she can hope to read in one fleeting lifetime. A good book, resting unopened in its slot on a shelf, full of majestic potentiality, is the most comforting sort of intellectual wallpaper.” – David Quammen

It is hard to choose just one quote as a favorite, but I like the first one. Which one of these quotes is your favorite, or do you have a quote of your own?

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.



Tuesday, January 12, 2021

My DNA Test Disaster by Cindy Flores Martinez


Have you seen those TV commercials where people take a genealogy DNA test and learn wonderful things about themselves? Their ancestry and their ancestors are both surprising and fascinating. Before my dad died, he took a genealogy DNA test, and I took one sometime later, but our experience was nothing like in the commercials. The test results only confused us. Last year, I finally realized my dad was adopted.

When I look back at the year 2020, the pandemic and everything else that happened are a blur. The one thing that occupied my thoughts the most was the discovery that my paternal grandfather wasn’t biologically related to me. My grandmother was a distant cousin. Not only was it a complete shock and a great loss, but it made me feel as if I didn’t know who I really was.

I had started writing a new book and made plans to re-write and re-publish the stories I wrote over the past several years, but suddenly, I no longer felt connected to them because I was no longer Cindy Flores Martinez. My last name Martinez was my dad’s adoptive name, and I could tell by looking at the family trees of my close DNA cousins that I wasn’t as Mexican as I thought. I needed to take a step back to try and figure things out.

Despite an exhaustive search, I still don’t know who my birth grandparents were. I'm still trying to figure things out, and I’m still searching for my real last name.

I've written about a similar topic in my new book, which is publishing in May. The heroine's experience was inspired by my own real-life experience.


What about you? Have you taken a genealogy DNA test and learned something that changed your life?

Cindy Flores Martinez is a USA Today bestselling author who writes sweet and 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

Monday, January 11, 2021

Fresh Starts and Winter Fun by Josie Riviera

 The holidays are past,  2020 is gone, and it's time to welcome January 2021.

This month is a good opportunity for fresh starts and winter fun. I've always enjoyed January for the opportunity to start anew--whether it be a new diet (hah!), learn a new skill, or catch up on my TBR pile of books.

This month also allows us to slow down and "hibernate." Sipping a hot cup of fresh tea or coffee, relaxing by a fire in the fireplace, and reading, is something I look forward to each year.

Of course, when I was younger and lived in upstate New York, snow days off from school were always cause for great celebration. Making snow angels in piles of snow, or going sledding on favorite hills, are fond memories. Now that I live in the Carolinas, snow days are few and far between.

I hope you take time this month to slow down, curl up with a good book, and appreciate the beautiful winter season.

Celebrate with me! Seeking Rachel, my Regency inspirational romance, received a wonderful review in Publishers Weekly!

And, take an armchair trip to Ireland with my newest sweet romance short story, 

A Chocolate-Box Irish Wedding.

Now on pre-order for only 99¢!

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 renovation.

Please "like" her Facebook author page.

And remember to join our Sweet Romance Cafe.