Thursday, June 20, 2019

Stay-cations: Books Take You To Beautiful Places

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!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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


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!

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

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

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.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Happy Flag Day by Merrillee Whren

Today is Flag Day. I've done my blog post on the 14th of the month for a good number of years, and I often talk about Flag Day in my June blog post. The flag above is displayed at Ft. McHenry near Baltimore, Maryland. It was flown at the fort during the War of 1812. Mary Young Pickersgill sewed this flag design. This flag inspired Francis Scott Key to write the "Star-Spangled Banner," our National Anthem. We visited there last year. Did you notice that the flag has 15 stripes, as well as 15 stars? At one time they were considering adding a stripe as well as stars when a new state was added to the union. You can see how unwieldly that would be. Imagine 50 stripes on our flag. So they decided to go back to the original 13 stripes and just add the stars. I think that was a wise decision.

The photo above is of the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia. We often credit Betsy Ross with sewing the first flag, but there is no definite documentation that this is true. However, it is possible that she did. No one can say for certain. Below is a photo of the Betsy Ross flag.
You'll notice the stars are in a circle. Supposedly the stars were put in this design to show that none of the colonies was more important than the others.

Do you know why the flag is often called "Old Glory"? A shipmaster from Salem, Massachusetts, Captain William Driver, received a flag with 24 stars. As that flag unfurled in the breeze, he exclaimed, "Old Glory." His exclamation became the nickname for all American flags.

Here are some other fun facts about June 14.  The U. S. Army was formed in 1775. Isaac Fischer Jr. patented sandpaper in 1834. Benjamin Grushkin patented Chlorophyll in 1938. Walt Disney's Bambi was released in 1942.

What was the most interesting fact you learned about the flag? I will give away a copy of the second book in my Kellersburg series, HOMETOWN PROPOSAL, to one person who leaves a comment. I've chosen this giveaway to go along with the post because of the flag on the cover. 

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.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Happy Summer by Cindy Flores Martinez

Summer may not officially be here yet, but it felt like it for a couple of days here in a suburb of Los Angeles. The temperature was over 100 degrees.

The official start of summer is next week, and all I can say is, thank God for air conditioning! And I’m glad that I live sort of close to the beach.

Summer sneaked up on me, and so far, my main plan is to finish writing my Christmas story. A few of the authors at Sweet Romance Reads have gotten together to write a series. More details are coming soon!

What are your plans for the summer? Do you have a vacation scheduled or something else that’s fun?

Stay cool and have a wonderful summer!

Cindy Flores Martinez is a USA Today bestselling author. She writes 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

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Is it really true? by Josie Riviera

Although I’m not a big TV watcher, I love to watch movies.

And then I wondered:
If a movie is based on an actual event, how much of that movie is really true?

So, I checked out the website, Information Is Beautiful, which analyzes movies scene by scene.

I selected the movie, Hidden Figures, a biographical drama, and one of my favorites. This movie is taken from the 2016 nonfiction book: Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Shutterfly. She began writing this book in 2010.

Wikipedia articulates the plot perfectly:
“Hidden Figures tell the story of three African-American woman who worked as computers to solve problems for engineers and others at NASA.”

The book was adapted to a Hollywood film with a budget of 25 million dollars, and an all-star cast included Octavia Spencer and Kevin Costner.

According to Information is Beautiful, Hidden Figuresreceived a rating of 74% true when the pedantry I selected was “c’mon, It’s the movies.”

However, when I selected “only the absolute truth,” the rating fell to 49%.

Want even more fun? Click on the scene-by-scene breakdown.

Do you like fact or fiction? Please leave your comments below.

 Can't travel to Europe this summer?

Armchair travel to Ireland with me and pick up my new release, Irish Hearts, my sweet and wholesome romantic bundle, now on pre-order! Save $11.00 off the paperback price.

Irish Hearts
3 Books in 1 bundle!
Books included:

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

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

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?
All in one bundle!
Pre-order now. Also available in paperback and Large Print Edition.
FREE on Kindle Unlimited.

 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 renovations.
 Follow her on Instagram.


Sunday, June 9, 2019

Physical Therapy by Christine Bush

Have you ever been to Physical Therapy or been a supporter for someone needing those services?

I’m a fan. I really believe in  Physical Therapy!

Years ago, I did a stint of PT after receiving bilateral knee replacements, and the knowledge, skill, and inspiration of the folks I worked with were nothing short of amazing. I got my life back.
Lately, I’ve begun another stint, this time to get stronger and “conditioned” for arthritic hips that will sooner or later be replaced.  More lifesaving help.

Besides the obvious physical benefits, I’ve learned a lot at PT.

The therapists and assistants are dedicated professionals who must possess a mix of compassion and understanding, right along with a slight “drill sergeant” capacity to keep clients moving through pain and fatigue.  This is an amazing combination.

The clients are varied and full of perseverance and motivation, and watching their determination to progress often inspires my own actions and attitudes. 

I’ve shared the room with young athletes healing from sports injuries, seniors rehabbing after a stroke, vets adapting to traumatic losses, oldsters like myself getting joint replacements, accident victims restoring their balance and flexibility and strength. 

There are all different levels of challenge, and sharing with my PT friends has been both heartwarming and humbling. It's wonderful to see the sun begin to shine again!

 There is a kind of bonding that goes on when people are striving like this. It’s based, I think, a lot on hope. We cheer each other on . I feel extremely lucky to have the opportunity to improve myself in this way, and lucky to be able to observe others on their path as well.

So it’s no surprise that these feelings have to come out in a book!  My newest novella, “HANNAH’S HEART” has a strong physical therapy theme.  Hannah is a Physical Therapist in a small town, where she does both home visits, and clinic sessions at the local hospital. I really applaud the “Hannah’s” of the world, and I hope you love her story.

Plus... Hannah’s into animal rescue, so I promise you there are a lot of puppies as well!

Have you had any PT experiences? I’d love to hear what you think!


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 13 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  brand new sweet romance novella is here!  Check out “Hannah’s Heart”, available in print and ebook. It’s the heartwarming story of Hannah and Grady, and I promise, there are LOTS of pets involved! 










Saturday, June 8, 2019

Chicken Noodle Soup For Your Taste Buds by Kristin Wallace

Everyone has been talking about food lately, with many of my fellow #SweetRomance authors sharing recipes. Yesterday was #NationalDoughnutDay. Is it a coincidence that a gourmet doughnut shop just opened within walking distance of my place? They make all these amazing flavors like the chocolate on chocolate with chocolate mousse filling pictured here. Plus, they had white chocolate, dulce de leche, cookies & cream, and key lime pie, among others. Is it a conspiracy to get me to eat more doughnuts? Maybe! 


However, I also want to show that I’m trying to eat healthier. Tonight I cooked homemade chicken noodle soup. It’s not my recipe. In fact, I stole it from my parents…who got it off the back of the chicken bouillon jar. It is DELICIOUS and so EASY to make!

Here’s the recipe for Chicken Noodle Soup. 

Start with chicken bullion. I like the “Better Than Bullion” brand for this recipe. It’s not a powder or cubes like some brands. It has more of a thick paste consistency so it’s creamier. 

·       6 Tablespoons of chicken bouillon 
·       Half of a rotisserie chicken diced into small pieces (Note: You can use whatever chicken you want, but it does need to be cooked. Rotisserie chicken is easy as you can buy it cooked at the store. You can use more than half of the chicken, it just depends on how much you like)
·       8-10 cups (2 ½ quarts) of water
·       A package of frozen vegetables (I use 2 small bags, 1-corn and 1-mixed as I like a lot of corn and most frozen varieties either don’t have corn or only a very little. Use whatever veggies you like though.)
·       Egg noodles (This recipe says to use 6 ounces but I say screw that! The noodles are the best part! Use as much as you want!)

·       Dissolve the bouillon in the water in a large pot
·       Add the chicken (diced), frozen vegetables, and egg noodles
·       Bring to a full boil
·       Lower heat and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the egg noodles are soft.
·      ENJOY!

Kristin Wallace is the USA Today Best Selling Author of inspirational and sweet contemporary romance filled with “Love, Laughter and a Leap of Faith”. Her latest book, SECOND CHANCE HERO (Palm Cove Tales), is available now.

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