Friday, June 30, 2017

"Lisa" - A new release by Denise Devine

Twelve friends from the online group Romantic Hearts Book Club decide to finally meet in person during a destination Caribbean vacation to beautiful Enchanted Island. While of different ages and stages in life, these ladies have two things in common: 1) they are diehard romantics, and 2) they’ve been let down by love. As a wildly silly dare during her last night on the island, each heroine decides to stuff a note in a bottle addressed to her “dream hero” and cast it out to sea!

Is it possible to find true love through a message in a bottle?
Spending a week on a Caribbean island with the members of the Romantic Hearts Book Club is like a dream come true for Lisa Kaye. On their last night, each woman writes a personal message to her “dream hero,” stuffs it in a bottle and tosses it out to sea. Lisa’s real dreams crash, however, when she returns home and loses not only her job but her boyfriend in the same day. Determined to start over, she returns to Enchanted Island, the idyllic place of her childhood to manage her aunt’s bed and breakfast hotel.

Fifteen months pass without a clue to the fate of her bottle. Then it happens. She receives an email from the man who found it and she doesn’t know what to do. Should she ignore it or take a chance at finding true love?

Lisa (Beach Brides Series) is $2.99 on Kindle, FREE in Kindle Unlimited.

Meet all of the Beach Brides at Amazon!

MEG (Julie Jarnagin)
TARA (Ginny Baird)
NINA (Stacey Joy Netzel)
CLAIR (Grace Greene)
JENNY (Melissa McClone)
LISA (Denise Devine)
HOPE (Aileen Fish)
KIM (Magdalena Scott)
ROSE (Shanna Hatfield)
LILY (Ciara Knight)
FAITH (Helen Scott Taylor)
AMY (Raine English)

~ * ~ * ~ *
Denise Devine is a USA TODAY bestselling author who has had a passion for books since the second grade when she discovered Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder. She wrote her first book, a mystery, at age thirteen and has been writing ever since. If you’d like to know more about her, you can visit her website at
 Sweet Romance reads is having a party! Join us for fun, games and lots of prizes at the pre-launch party of Sweet Christmas Kisses 4

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

All in the Family ~ by Magdalena Scott

On Saturday, I met a friend to spend some time together. Here is how our conversation began:

Friend: I'm upset with you.

Me: Uh-oh. What have I done now?

Friend: You scared me. I thought little Matthew was going to get run over by a car!

Me: Oops. Sorry. It scared me too, when I wrote it.

Friend: *Chuckles* It's a good thing when book characters seem so real.

Me: I almost bought Matthew a Christmas present in 2015. Cutest little plastic plate with trucks printed on it. He would have loved that plate! *Sighs wistfully*

Us: *Laughing*

If you haven't guessed it, Matthew is a little boy in my Serendipity, Indiana series. In 2014, when he was new to the reading world, he was four years old, and loved trucks (watching them go past his house on North Main Street, riding in them, talking about them) almost as much as he loved Lillian Standish's sweet dog, Daisy. Matthew was the only child of a single mom.

When Matthew and his mother, Melissa, moved to Serendipity in the first book, Small Town Christmas, everything in their lives began to change. The scene that scared my friend happens in one of the later books. (There are eight in the series so far.)

Writing the Serendipity series has been a treat. I feel like I know the characters, and when readers feel that way too, I think I must be doing something right. A reviewer recently wrote about the series, "It makes me happy reading it." Those words warmed my heart.

Book Eight in the Series, Once Upon a Time, released in June. Writing Taylor Kincaid's story was pure joy. I knew the final scene long before I'd written the rest of the story. Taylor and the story's hero, Ken, learn that love truly can survive anything.

I hope you'll take a moment to look at the Serendipity series. If you hurry, you can read all of them before Kim: Beach Brides Series releases on July 11th. Kim was a nurse's aide in Serendipity Book Two, Emily's Dreams.

The Kincaid family, the Standish family, and the rest of Serendipity are waiting for you with open arms. (And don't worry, Matthew is just fine!)

Happy reading!
Magdalena Scott


Monday, June 26, 2017

It's That Time Of The Year Again...

It's that time of the year again...Summertime. Which means family vacations, swimming at the local pool, or simply making time to read a good book. Summertime is famous for long, lazy days in the sun with your favorite beverage.

But for me, well, I confess, I have a love/hate relationship with Summer. Mostly because in Texas, as in other parts of the country, Summertime can be brutal. The temperature has already begun to push the 100 degree mark and the humidity is a matching 100 percent.

As a child, I breezed through Summer without a thought about the heat or the humidity, but since I'm all grown up, well, it's not nearly so easy.

So every year, at least for a little while, my husband and I escape to the mountains for some cool crisp temperatures and breathtaking views.     

We return home refreshed and more able to deal with the heat. And then we make a beeline to our swimming pool and pretty much live there until September.

So, what's your favorite way to beat the Summertime heat?

Publishers Weekly Bestselling Author Mary Alford grew up in a small Texas town famous for, well not much of anything really. Being the baby of the family and quite a bit younger than her brothers and sister, Mary had plenty of time to entertain herself. Making up stories seem to come natural to her. As a pre-teen, Mary discovered Christian romance novels and knew instinctively that was what she wanted to do with her over-active imagination. She wrote her first novel as a teen, (it’s tucked away somewhere never to see the light of day), but never really pursued her writing career seriously until a few years later, when she wrote her first Christian romance and was hooked. Today, Mary still lives in Texas, and still writes about romance. In fact, she can’t think of anything else she’d rather do. Learn more about Mary Alford at: where you can sign up for her newsletter. Also feel free to send her an email to
Mary's latest release, Deadly Memories is now available at Amazon.
Amnesia may be keeping Ella Weiss from remembering her past—but not from saving the little boy who's been her fellow prisoner the last seven years. After managing to escape her cell, all she wants is to find where little Joseph is being kept. Instead she runs straight into CIA agent Kyle Jennings. Kyle isn't sure if Ella is actually a kidnap victim or if she's working for the gunrunner he's been after. One thing he is certain of is her uncanny resemblance to the wife he thought he'd buried. To save a child's life and stop a terrorist from slipping through his fingers, he'll need to uncover the secrets of Ella's past—and whether or not she's really the woman he's never stopped loving.
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All the best…


Mary Alford

Sunday, June 25, 2017

"Oh, the Places I've Gone & the Things I've Seen!"

by USA Today Bestselling Author Kristin Holt

I love reading romances. Definitely my favorite genre!... though I do read various others like fantasy and mysteries. One of my favorite reasons for reading (and writing) Western Historical Romance is to learn more about history--in disguise as entertainment.

Oh, and entertainment it is! Stories galore about gunfighters, debutantes, lawmen, trainmen, farmer's wives, orphans, sheepherders (in cattle country, just to make it interesting). Along the way, I've learned far more about the history of the United States than I ever learned from a rather excellent AP History Class my senior year of high school.

Bored in traditional history class in school...

Who knew my favorite pastime--reading fiction--could educate, and educate extensively? I've learned so much more about the Old West, the Native Americans, challenges of the nineteenth century (Panic of '93, for example), what life was really like, the import and impact of inventions by savvy Victorians than I'd ever thought probable or even possible.

I've attended the World's Fairof 1893 in Chicago and while there rode the first Ferris Wheel and met Mr. Ferris himself. I've stood by with mixed emotions while Wyoming cattle rustlers met their end in a noose, felt the despair and anguish of the Donner Party, and labored extensively to build the great road (Transcontinental Railroad). I've seen an unspoiled Yellowstone Canyon through the eyes of trappers and explorers. I've worked my claim alongside desperate men, determined to jump my claim--simply because I'm a woman and they believed me unable to protect what's mine. I wept out of frustration and anger when congress passed the Coinage Act of 1873 and we lost everything when silver lost its crown (Silver had most certainly been King). With other nurses and desperate mothers, I fought the ravages of cholera epidemics and fought the flames in the Great Chicago Fire. I struggled to locate children ripped from my arms in the Great GalvestonHurricane of 1900. My wagon company faced overwhelming odds in battles with the Crow and Cherokee, proved our mettle on the Oregon Trail. I've lived in luxury on Nob Hill in San Francisco, and I've lived in abject poverty in the tenements of New York City. I've worn silk, brocade, kid slippers of the finest make. Jewels and ringlets and pearls. And I've been dirty, starving, and desperate, without a penny to my name. I've been well educated, and I've been illiterate. Bond and free.

I've planted season after season of crops. Wrestled alongside my man to deliver a heifer of her calf. Experienced the thrill of being the first woman to practice law in western Wyoming, the joy of a woman practicing medicine and making a difference in the lives of other women. I've waded through the tremendous challenges of physical disabilities, inheriting a brood of stepchildren, unattended births--with no one but my man for help. I've burned with the urgency to defend home and hearth, to safeguard wife and children and the elderly at home. I've been severely wounded: gunshots, snake bites, compound fractures, bashed in the head, broken ribs, thrown from a horse, nearly drowned.

I've witnessed Lincoln's assassination, the rubble of San Francisco engulfed in flames after the quakeof 1906. I've seen the Paris Universal Exhibition in 1878, first to travel the completed iron rail from coast to coast. Fought in the Battle of Gettysburg, and in the War of 1812. I've seen Lady Liberty in New York harbor when my immigrant vessel finally arrived in the Land of Opportunity. I've been a young man pressed into service in a war I hadn't started, and looked my brother in the eye--he wore Union Blue and I wore Confederate Gray.

Because I've immersed myself in fiction, I've visited dozens of nations, lived thousands of lifetimes over the span of hundreds of years. I've experienced emotional triumphs over adversity. 

I've fallen in love, time and time again--that one, special, forever kind of love that comes along only once in any lifetime. Because of fiction, I've faced innumerable challenges, learned powerful truths about what makes a man a hero and all that can turn a man (or woman) bad. I've seen the sun set on the good and bad alike, and the inequality and depravity of men.

But most of all, I've fallen in love with places, times, and eras I'd otherwise never see. I've learned the immense history of the United States, the land I call home... and most of that awareness of all my great-grandparents endured, their joys, their opportunities, and the issues that affected their lives.

And never opened a history textbook (unless I wanted to).

Reading fiction sparked my personal desire to really study history. Because I read fiction set against abackdrop of memorable events in the history of the United States, I chose to look a little deeper, learn a little more, peruse a bigger understanding.

I tolerated my A.P. History class in high school, but I absolutely love learning history through reading historical romances. Better yet, I've fallen top-knot over high-button shoes for researching time and place for the western historical romances I write. I'm often so enamored of the details I find while studying, I write blog posts(usually 3 per week) on my own site, to share the amazing bits of history I find with readers like me, who find the real life history in which our favorite fiction stories are set.

You're invited to pay a call (that means you're invited to come over), stay awhile, visit over a cup of tea (read a blog post or two), and see if we have a little in common.

'Til then, what exciting places (or events) have you experienced through the pages of a (fiction) book?

BTW, it's never too late to join our group newsletter! It's a terrific way to enjoy a set of short stories FREE!

You're invited to register for my newsletter to (I send it only once-in-a-while--when I have news or a new release or an offer of some kind I know you'd like to have)... AND it comes with immediate download of a This Noelle, a Sweet Western Historical Romance Novella, steeped in history and the terrible winters of the 1880s. (As always every newsletter comes with an unsubscribe link, and you can always discontinue if you wish.)

Copyright © 2017 Kristin Holt LC

Saturday, June 24, 2017

June Fun by Pat Simmons

Last month, I shared my excitement about attending my high school class reunion for the first time. I had a blast!! Did I say I had fun?

It was a group reunion for recent graduates of 2012, who were celebrating their first five year reunion, all the way back to 1972, and I fit right in there. Of course, the 2012 graduates had the most attendees, but Class of ’77 had the most fun.

It's amazing what people remember about you from high school. For example, former Student Council President Mary Winkelmann (In the blue dress), remembered I showed her how to dance the hustle during our lunch periods. The hustle? Wow, I couldn't remember the dance moves, so I have to rely on YouTube. Do you know how many versions there are??

Besides enjoying tasty hot hors d'oeuvres, the music videos that highlighted 40 years brought back memories. --loved it, but the photo booth was the best. The props are always fun, so I grabbed the phone, considering I stayed on it enough during high school. 

A few days later, I celebrated another wedding anniversary with Kerry. I found it interesting that I could still fit the dress I wore four years earlier. 

Here are Kerry and me at dinner. What's amusing about this picture is the coordinated yawns in the background. What an amusing photo bomb.

Oh, by the way, my husband wasn’t intimidated being around a bunch of women at the reunion. J
I hope you're enjoying your some too. Believe it or not, I've been writing like crazy. I'll share those new releases with you next month.


Pat Simmons has celebrated ten years as a published author with more than thirty titles. She is a self-proclaimed genealogy sleuth who is passionate about researching her ancestors and 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 an amazing, unforgettable, life-altering experience.
Pat holds a B.S. in mass communications from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. She has worked in various media positions for more than twenty years. Currently, she oversees the media publicity for the annual RT Booklovers Conventions.
She has been a featured speaker and workshop presenter at various venues across the country and converted her sofa-strapped sports fanatic husband into an amateur travel agent, untrained bodyguard, GPS-guided chauffeur.
Readers may learn more about Pat and her books by connecting with her on social media,, or by contacting her at authorpatsimmons@gmail.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Pre-Launch Party for Sweet Christmas Kisses 4

Sweet Romance Read's
4th annual
pre-launch Facebook party
to celebrate
Sweet Christmas Kisses 4!

Check out the event page today!
You don't want to miss it!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

What makes a great summer read? By Julie Jarnagin

I love summertime. As someone who is perpetually cold, I love the heat of summer. I enjoying sitting by the pool, grilling outside and eating dinner on the deck, and watching the kids run around outside. But no matter what time of year it is, nothing beats great book!

In the summer, it seems like I crave a certain type of book. I lean more toward fun, light, happy books. I tend to stick with contemporary, and if it can make me laugh, even better. 

Recently, I wrote a novella for the Beach Brides Series, which is a series of books that are perfect summer reads. Here's a little about the series: 

Twelve friends from the online group, Romantic Hearts Book Club, decide to finally meet in person during a destination Caribbean vacation to beautiful Enchanted Island. While of different ages and stages in life, these ladies have two things in common: 1) they are die-hard romantics, and 2) they've been let down by love. As a wildly silly dare during her last night on the island, each heroine decides to stuff a note in a bottle addressed to her "dream hero" and cast it out to sea!

The entire series is available on Kindle Unlimited. My book, Meg, kicks off the series. 

 Other authors who I think write great beach reads are Becky Wade, Jennifer Shirk, Jenny B. Jones, and Kristan Higgins

Do you tend toward different kinds of books in different seasons? What's beach read can you recommend? 

Julie Jarnagin is a USA Today bestselling author of sweet and inspirational romance. She grew up in a small Oklahoma town where her family farmed and ranched. These days she lives in a not-so-big city with her amazing husband and two young sons who tolerate all her nerdy quirks. Julie earned a B.A. in Journalism / Professional Writing from the University of Oklahoma and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.

Have you signed up for Sweet Romance Reads newsletter? It's full of great info and fun stuff from our authors. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Jigsaw Puzzle Memories by Milou Koenings

I've been thinking a lot about jigsaw puzzles recently because one of them has a role in the book I'm writing now.

doormouse in teacup puzzle
Jigsaw puzzles played a big part in my childhood summers. My sister and I were very lucky. Thanks to my father's job, for many years, we got to spend part of our vacations by the sea. Our mornings were spent on the beach.

But what to do in the early afternoon, when the sun was too hot for us to be out there? Or on rainy days?
This was in the days before the internet and YouTube (yup, that long ago). There wasn't much on TV. And as much as we all liked to read, we tended to run out of books. So Mom's answer to keeping two kids quietly occupied was a big stock of jigsaw puzzles.

Each afternoon after lunch, we'd settle down around a table with her and work on a puzzle. She deliberately got ones that had really interesting pictures, to hold our interest, but that had zillions of pieces, so that one puzzle could sometimes last us a whole week.

We assembled rustic spice racks. Put together elaborate collections of china dolls. Teacup displays. Despite the triumph when we finally put in the last piece of a completed image, the puzzles stuck around only long enough to show Dad when he came home. Then we'd break them up quickly and pack up all the pieces, anxious to start another one.

For some reason, the hour or two we spent daily huddled over the puzzle, sifting through the pieces, trying to find a place to make the piece in our hand fit, turned into a cherished memory that always fills me with a sense of contentment and peace.  If I want a short mental vacation, I cast myself back there, my hand running through jewel-toned shapes, choosing one and trying to find it a mate. Turning it around. Trying this way and that.  My sister or my mother only occasionally breaking the silence with a question or comment, for we mostly concentrated in silence on what we were doing.

What piece of mind there was in knowing that, even if we didn't see how right away, eventually all those pieces would fit just right, everything would fall into place, and the end result would be beautiful.

Would that we had the same assurance about life...

Of course, that is one reason that romance novels are so satisfying — it's exactly what they promise!

jigsaw puzzle pieces
How Jigsaw Puzzles Are Good For You
Turns out that there's more to doing puzzles than fun. They challenge our spatial reasoning, logic and dexterity.
Puzzles work both sides of the brain simultaneously — our logical side tries to fit the pieces together, while our creative side is putting together the picture.

They build focus, concentration and persistence and help improve short-term memory.

Puzzle Tidbits

·         Jigsaw puzzles were first made popular by John Spilsbury in 1760, who marketed a map of Europe cut into pieces.

·         The largest jigsaw puzzle you can buy has 40,320 pieces. It shows scenes from Disney movies.

largest jigsaw puzzle
The largest commercially available jigsaw puzzle.
Not sure where I'd find a table big enough for it!

·         Jigsaw puzzle pieces — puzzling and hard to fit in — have become a symbol of autism.

·         And then, there's Wikipedia's well-known logo: a 3D jigsaw puzzle globe, with pieces still missing, to allow for more knowledge.

So, do you like jigsaw puzzles, too?

Milou Koenings is a USA Today bestselling author. She writes romance because, like chocolate, stories with a happy ending bring more joy into the world and so make it a better place.

Her other Green Pines sweet romances, I Love You Three, Reclaiming Home, The Kampala Peppermint Twist and Sweet Blizzard are available on, iBooks, Nook, Kobo and all your favorite e-book retailers.

Sign up for her newsletter, so you'll be the first to know about new releases!  

And don’t forget to sign up for the Sweet Romance Reads newsletter. Scroll down the right side of our blog and enter your email address under Newsletter Signup. And if you're the party type (come on, who isn't really deep down?) come join us in the Facebook Sweet Romance Reads Cafe , where every so often we have the greatest parties!