Friday, August 19, 2022

Five Favorite Things About Summer by Merri Maywether


The beginning of something sets an impression. It gives a hint of what we’ll encounter in the future and is the benchmark for our expectations. The end is just as memorable. It lingers and turns into warm thoughts. Think about it:  The last and first tastes of ice cream are the best. Sunset and Sunrise are the times when the sky shows off her colors. The first tastes of dinner elicit murmurs of appreciation, and people are more agreeable after eating dessert. 

We are one month away from the end of summer. Rather than be caught by surprise, I make lists of the things I like. Then I make note of them, cherish them, and use them for the feelings in my stories. So this month, I’m sharing my five favorite things about summer. 

Five Favorite Things About Summer

  1. Long days-We live near the 49th parallel. As of this writing, the sun sets a little after 8:30 p.m.
    In ten weeks, it will set around five p.m. Maybe it was the “be home by the time the streetlights go on” rule we had when we were younger. And, I know I’m older and in charge of my comings and goings. But, I still find it easier to be social when there is more sun. 

  2. Playing with the garden-Things go dormant around November. It’s beautiful in a different way. So while I can, I’ll take care of the flowers, marvel at the last sprouts, and hope the last of the blooms will hear my pleas and make an appearance. 

  3. Toasted marshmallows by the fire-in theory can be done all year round. There’s something
    about eating a burned marshmallow in a loose t-shirt that makes it taste better. 

  4. Drinks taste better with ice-Water is refreshing in the summer. With ice, it is that much better and easier to consume the required six to eight glasses a day. 

  5. There is more time to read-Twenty-four hours is the same regardless of the temperature or the amount of light. I don’t know why, but it is easier to ignore the television and sit on the porch, in a lawn chair, or swing in a hammock and focus on a sweet love story. 

So now it’s your turn. We have a little more than four weeks, and it will be officially autumn, a.k.a. pumpkin-spice season. What are your favorite things about summer that you’ll cherish in the days to come?

☀️ ☀️ ☀️ 

Faith ran away to Paradise Hills to hide from her past. Back home, she has a mother that wants to run her life and the ruins of a marriage that never happened.

A week before they were supposed to get married, Clark Grayson called off his wedding to Faith. By the time he figured out he made a mistake, it was too late to right the wrong.

She was gone.

Clark and Faith are brought back together as bridesmaid and groomsman for a wedding, but neither knows it until they are set up for a blind date.

Sparks fly, and love will be tested. Friends and Family in Paradise Hills will watch with bated breath for the outcome. What will it take for Clark to regain Faith's trust?

Paradise Hills Summer is part of a series but can be read as a stand-alone novel. 

Paradise Hills Summer is available for 99¢ |Visit the Amazon Store|

☀️ ☀️ ☀️

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.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Art and Friends by Kimberly Rose Johnson

 Last week, a friend I met while in college, blessed my husband and I with a mural situated outside our kitchen window. She painted it on the side of a metal barn. The drips at the bottom are deliberate--they are in a lot of her work, and she calls it a signature of her art. She calls her art abstract expressionist, clearly what she did for us wasn't in that genre though. In fact, this is quite different from her normal work. If you love art, check out her site. Her stuff is very cool!

For those who have read my book Dark Threat, she is the artist I consulted with for my research about art and art galleries. She was such a help and told me things I didn't even know to ask. 
I love how Facebook and social media in general has allowed us to reconnect with those we've lost track of. 

Do you have people you've been able to reconnect with thanks to social media?

The series pictured below includes the book I mentioned above. These books are all free to read with Kindle Unlimited.

Award winning author Kimberly Rose Johnson married her college sweetheart and lives in the Pacific Northwest. 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 contemporary romance and romantic mystery and suspense with a heart.

Kimberly holds a degree in Behavioral Science from Northwest University in Kirkland, Washington, and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and International Christian Visual Media.

Learn more about Kimberly and her books at

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Old, But New by Merrillee Whren

The three books in my Village of Hope series were originally published by Harlequin Love Inspired. I have received the rights back to these books and will be reissuing them over the next few months. I already have the new covers as you can see above. The books are old, but new. They have new covers and a few changes inside although fewer changes than some of my other reissues because they were more recently published. I still can't believe it has been seven years since their first publication. The times goes so quickly. 

Annie's Hope, the first book in the series, is available now for preorder. The book will be released on September 27, 2022. Here is the back cover blurb.

As Annie and Ian's lives intersect, can she show him that she's clean and sober and wants a second chance not only with her children but with him?
The Village of Hope: A community built on service and love

 I love the new cover for this book because of the fountain in the background. It is muted, but I can see that it is a tiered fountain just like the one I imagined when I put a fountain in the book. The original cover had a fountain, but not a tiered fountain, even though I sent several pictures of tiered fountains when I filled out my art fact sheet for the cover. That's why I love having complete control over my covers now. 

Here's a small excerpt from the story featuring the fountain.

Ian puzzled over Annie’s declaration about church and her faith. Was she trying to reassure him ahead of this meeting that she was ready and deserving of having her children back? He wished he could let go of his doubts, but they hung there in his mind like rotted curtains at a window. They reminded him of the dismal state she’d come from and her numerous relapses. “I have to be honest, Annie. I’m still skeptical. I don’t doubt you have good intentions. I just need to see you carry them out.”
Her eyes blinked rapidly as her lips quivered. She didn’t say anything until they reached the fountain. She stopped in front of it. Water spilled from level to level, sparkling in the sunlight. “I know I have a lot to prove. Do I have time to stop at my apartment before the meeting?”
Ian checked the time on his phone. “Yeah, but don’t be late.”
“I won’t be.” Annie sprinted across the quad as if something was chasing her.
Glued to the spot, Ian watched her until she disappeared inside her building. He’d done it again—almost made her cry. Why had he been so blunt with her? Being honest with her made both of them unhappy, but he couldn’t sugarcoat what he thought. She would either prove herself or not. He should be more supportive, but he knew the pitfalls of recovery. None of it was easy. He’d been through it himself.
Should he be more sympathetic? No. Annie didn’t need sympathy. She needed support that was straightforward. He would give her that and nothing more.
You can preorder Annie's Hope at these links.





Do you like covers that present a scene from the book, or do you like covers that give an overall concept from the book?


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.

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Lefthanders Give a Wave and Book Sale by Vickie McDonough

Did you know that tomorrow is International Lefthanders Day? It recognizes all those individuals who have mastered using their left hand in a right-handed world. Approximately 10% of the population is are southpaws. Parents of left-handed children used to force them to use their right hands. In the eyes of right-handers, the predominant use of the left hand seemed evil at one time. Parents feared their communities would shun their children. Thankfully, southpaws people are more accepted these days.

I'm mostly lefthanded, but I can also do things like use scissors and a mouse righthanded. I remember being in kindergarten or first grade and having a teacher who tried to convert me to write right-handed, but I out-stubborned her.  I got to thinking about it, I don't believe I've ever written a left-handed hero in any of my books. I need to remedy that, but for today, here's a list of famous southpaws.

Famous Lefthanded People:

  • Albert Einstein,Michaelangelo, and Leonardo de Vinci
  • Presidents Thomas Jefferson, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama
  • Paul McCartney and Jimi Hendrix
  • Tom Cruise, Oprah Winfrey, Julia Roberts, Lady Gaga and Angelina Jolie
  • Babe Ruth, Sandy Koufax and Tim Tebow
  • Leo Tolstoy, Mark Twain, JK Rowling
  • Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerburg

That's probably more than you ever wanted to know about lefties. So all southpaws, give a wave.

My Texas Trails books are on sale for $2.99 for a limited time.

End of the Trail

Brooks Morgan is a quick draw, but his weapon of choice is his smile. He’s smart and witty and has charmed his way through much of life, but now he’s growing older—and a bit wiser. He wants to stop drifting and settle down. He sees his chance when he wins Raven Creek Ranch in a poker game, but when he goes to claim his prize, a pretty woman with a shotgun says the ranch belongs to her. Brooks isn’t leaving his one and only chance to make something of his life—but neither is she. Can they reach an agreement? Or will a greedy neighbor force a showdown, causing them both to lose what they want most in life?

Long Trail Home

A weary soldier returns from the War Between the States to discover his parents dead, his family farm in shambles, and his fiancée married. A pretty, blind woman reaches through his scarred walls, but will the secret she holds ruin all chances for a future filled with love, faith, and family?

My Favorite Poems About Summer by Josie Riviera

 I love summer, and I love poems.  So today, I'm sharing 3 of my favorite poems.

"Warm summer sun, shine kindly here; Warm southern wind, blow softly here; Green sod above, lie light, lie light,  Good night, dear heart, good night, good night." - Mark Twain

"Bend low again, night of summer stars. So near you are, sky of summer stars. So near, a long-arm man can pick off stars, Pick off what he wants in the sky bowl, So near you are, summer stars, So near, strumming, strumming,  So lazy, and hum-strumming."  - Carl Sandburg

"In winter I get up at night,  And dress by yellow candle light,  In summer quite the other way,  I have to go to bed by day. I have to go to bed and see, The birds still hopping on the tree,  Or hear the grown-up people's feet, Still going past me on the street. And does it not seem hard to you, When all the sky is clear and blue, And I should like so much to play, To have to go to bed by day?" - Robert Louis Stevenson

New release!  Enjoy my newest sweet contemporary romances in one inspirational bundle:

Romance Stories To Cherish Volume Two.

This set includes three sweet and inspirational romances:

You don’t need ears to hear God’s plan. All you need is an open heart…

All relationships require a commitment but is she ready to sacrifice her heart again?

Faith is fragile. Faith takes time. And the best solutions are always painted with love.

Grab your copy of Romance Stories To Cherish, Volume Two, today. 
Available in ebook, paperback, and large print paperback.

FREE on Kindle Unlimited. Audiobooks for each book sold separately.

Josie Riviera is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary, historical, and inspirational 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 renovations.

Sign up for her newsletter and get a FREE ebook on her website:

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

A Heart for Animals... by Christine Bush


If you know me, you know I have a heart for animals.  This has been a lifelong thing.  Today, as life and space are limited, I don’t have as many pets as I did in the past. But I have two fascinating cats, named Macaroni and Cheese.  My buddies.

It’s not a surprise that I like to put animals of all kinds in my books.  Here are some examples;

                                       Christmas Laurel:  a retired bomb dog

                                                 Noah’s Bark:  a love sick goat

                  Christmas with the Crazy Cowboy: Horses (and a runaway cow!)


                                                Hannah’s Heart:  Rescue dogs

                                                    Patient Heart: a  puppy

                                       Christmas with the Cat Lady:  LOTS of cats


Kelly’s Kiss: A giant Great Dane service dog.


And there’s more!  You can find them all through the Amazon page listed below.

 How about you? Do you have pets?  Do you like to read about pets in books?  Let me know!


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!