Thursday, November 21, 2019

Thankful for my Hallmark Home & Family Experience by Janice Lynn

Having my first sweet romance released by Hallmark Publishing has been an amazing experience in so many ways that it's difficult to know where to begin if I had to say what I'm most thankful for. Something that certainly is near the top happened on November 8th when I was a guest on the Home & Family talk show on the Hallmark Channel. First off, I've decided being kind is a prerequisite for being hired by Hallmark. Everyone I encountered whether by email or in person was genuinely nice that's from the person who picked me up at my hotel to Cameron Mathison. Everyone. I'm a behind the scenes kind of girl, liking my position behind the computer screen of my laptop to write my stories rather than being in front of the camera so filming for television was WAY outside my comfort zone. That everyone was so fantastic definitely helped ease my nerves.
My son and I flew in on Tuesday, arriving that evening. We spent Wednesday sight-seeing on Hollywood Boulevard. It was interesting seeing all the stars on the street and The Chinese Theater was cool.
On Thursday, we went to Universal Studios to the set of Home & Family. The set is a house that is decorated for Christmas inside and out. It's beautiful. I was taken to my trailer--how cool is that? I met my producer, Katie. She showed me around the set and we dropped off my snowflakes and quilt to a very talented man named Jimmy who works magic to make everything look great. After that, I was taken back to my trailer. Inside the trailer is a sofa of sorts, a lighted make-up desk & chair, a refrigerator, microwave, bathroom, and full length mirror. The fridge is stocked with drinks & snacks.
After a while, Katie got me and I recorded a Facebook live that aired on Hallmark Publishing on November 7th. Knowing I was live was intimidating, because what if I sneezed or burped or did some other weird thing, ya know? But it wall went well and was a positive experience. There were a couple of adorable kittens in the room with me and hearing their sweet meows likely calmed me some.
After the Facebook live, I got to spend some time with my fantastic editor at Hallmark Publishing where we ate and chatted for a while in this lovely tented outdoor area that is set up with food and glass-doored coolers, tables, and outdoor type sofas. I first met Cameron Mathison while out there. He came up and introduced himself to me. Very, very nice man. While out there, I also saw another guest of the day--Mike Rowe. He was getting food and I was with my editor and didn't want to be totally uncool by rushing up to him and asking for a picture & autograph, but doing so did run through my fan-girling mind.
Later, it was my turn to film. Everything happened really fast at that point. I was taken back into the house. Jimmy had put together the adorable branch that the snowflakes were hung on and the supplies were displayed on a table. I was seated at a table with Cameron. He gave me some awesome, calming words. It was a ready, set, go moment. Filming started and ran straight through with no retakes. My biggest flub that I am aware of is that I dropped a snowflake. As they are made of plastic canvas, it wasn't a biggie--thank goodness.
 After recording, I said goodbye and was taken back to my hotel. On Friday morning, I watched the segment with my son on my laptop. It was a surreal experience seeing and hearing yourself on television, but what an amazing way to promote a book and cause you love so much? In Wrapped Up in Christmas, my heroine donates a quilt to an organization called Quilts of Valor. This is a real life group I belong to. Their mission is to wrap veterans and service members in quilts. I love curling up with a comfy blanket and find doing so comforting and want to support what this wonderful group does.

If you've not had a chance to read Wrapped Up in Christmas yet, I hope you'll get a copy and let me know what you think about Sarah & Bodie's story. It's available at AmazonWalmart, and most places books are sold.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Wishing for a Special Holiday - New Release Announcement from Jackie Castle

I can't believe the Holidays are coming upon us so fast! 

Last year, I wrote a Madison Creek Township Christmas novella, but I decided not to publish it until this year. (At the time, I didn't realize I'd have two other Christmas stories also coming out (as part of collections with other authors) at the same time.

I'm not sure how the story idea came to me, but I did know that Leon Jovino, from Secretly In Love, needed his own story. However it came about, I'm really pleased with A Thousand Wishes and I'm excited to share a few things about it with you today.



First off, let me tell you a little about A Thousand Wishes-


A starry night, a whispered prayer and a heartfelt wish, lead to a Christmas romance neither of them saw coming.

The challenge between the Allender siblings begins, and McKenna is determined to sell more Christmas trees than her older brother. The dare is enough incentive, but the bonus makes it all worthwhile especially when she wrecks her car trying to avoid hitting a man who steps out of nowhere into her path.

Leon Jovino is on a sure path until it divides his heart in two. A starry night, a heartfelt wish, and his head in a fog lead him into a collision with Kenna. He’s determined to help her but doesn’t count on the consequences.

Then again, his starry wish just might be behind it all.

This is the fourth book in the Madison Creek Township novella series, Finding Love In Madison Creek. If you're interested in reading the first three books in one bundle, click here. Or you can see the series page here.

 

Real-life inspiration for this story:

Since I was a kid, I've enjoyed making crafts around Christmas time. At one point, it's what we gave out as gifts, but later, as things got better, crafting was done for enjoyment.

I love making a few ornaments of my own and still have some that we made during my childhood.

One year, I made egg ornaments. For several months, I'd carefully try to crack just a small hole in an egg I was using for breakfast to get the yolks out. It was tricky but doable. I'd save the shell, washing it carefully and letting it dry. Then I'd paint it with Mod Podge to strengthen the shell. From there, I'd cut the opening wider, decorate with ribbons, glitter or whatever I had, then add a tiny figurine inside. Usually in a bed of cotton.

I'd get something that looked kind of like this:



In A Thousand Wishes, Kenna Allender loves to make ornaments from things she finds in nature. I'm working on a blog post of natural ornament ideas. You can check back here for when that goes live.

A Thousand Wishes is available for pre-order for the sale price of only .99¢. It will be releasing on Thursday, Nov. 21st at the regular price of $2.99.

Do you enjoy making holiday crafts? Ornaments, gifts, etc? Stop by my blog to see more of Kenna's Christmas creations. Leave a comment and be entered to win a free copy of Finding Love in Madison Creek. 

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving (for those of you who celebrate it).
See you next month,
Jackie Castle

Monday, November 18, 2019

Sweet Romance Reads November New Releases #sweetromance


Sweet Romance Reads November New Releases


Shelter of Hope
Margaret Daley

Troubled teen. Second Chances. Redemption.
Single mom, Maggie Sommerfield, is struggling with her preteen son who is angry with all that has happened in Hope, Mississippi and the hurricane that upended his life. Cody Weston, a crisis counselor, becomes a part of Maggie’s and her son’s lives. In Cody’s efforts to help Maggie with her son, a relationship blossoms between them, but his secrets that he’s kept locked away come to the foreground. Can the two open their guarded hearts and give each other a chance to find love again?

Available on Amazon



Healing Chay
Donna Fasano

All Chay Makwa wants is solitude so he can conquer these tormenting nightmares, yet he can’t ignore the soft sobs of a woman in the woods near his cabin. The stranger with hair as pale as moonlight and secrets in her eyes is in need of a shoulder to cry on. But after a kiss meant to soothe turns passionate, she is gone.

Tori Landing has heard of Chay, but they’d never met before the night by the lake when the grief over her sister’s senseless death overwhelmed her. Tori steers clear of relationships for a very good reason and feels putting the security of others before her own happiness will amend her past failings. But the appeal of the brooding Native American is stronger than her determination to remain single and unencumbered.

Is Tori the one woman who can bring Chay peace… and can he teach her to trust in love?

Although the books in this series are stand-alone novels, reading the books in order will offer the most enjoyable experience. Titles in The Black Bear Brothers Series:

An Honorable Man, Book 1
Woman of His Heart, Book 2
Healing Chay, Book 3

Available on Amazon




Soldier's Christmas Secrets
Laura Scott


He’ll do whatever it takes...
To protect his family 

When a plane crash leaves special ops soldier Hawk Jacobson with amnesia, all he knows is that the plane was sabotaged and he has a target on his back. His survival depends on letting everyone—including his wife, Jillian Wade—believe he’s dead. Until gunmen come after Jillian and the daughter he never knew existed. Can Jillian help him regain his memory in time to expose a killer?



Leading Hearts
Josie Riviera

A heartwarming story is the hallmark of romance. Savor the magic of love in Leading Hearts (First Books In Series) with my three sweet and inspirational romances in 1 volume.

These wholesome stories, where God is oftentimes at the center, brim with love and laughter.

The 3 full-length romances included in the bundle are:

A Love Song To Cherish (Inspirational)

It’s easy to recognize another’s pain. The tough part is facing your own.

Seeking Fortune (A Regency Inspirational Romance)

Are her superstitions working their magic…or is God sending a message?

1-800-CUPID

A house flipper looking for quick profit. A survivor with a dream. Can two broken hearts find a place to call home?

On pre-order sale for only 99¢
Live on November 20th

Available on Amazon



A Place to Find Love

Merrillee Whren


Whitney Hamilton wants to put her past behind her and make the best of her current circumstances, a high demand job and caring for her mother, who has dementia. But Whitney’s newest coworker, Jeremy Cunningham, is a constant reminder of her foolish past.

Jeremy wants to show the world he is his own man, but that may prove difficult as he steps into his brother's old job. The biggest obstacle to his success is Whitney, his brother’s former girlfriend, a source of discord for his family.

When Whitney and Jeremy find themselves attracted to each other, there are so many reasons, old and new, to keep them from revealing their feelings for each other. Will a long-kept secret finally bring them together?

Available on AmazonBarnes & NobleApple





A Thousand Wishes
A Madison Creek Township Novella #4
99¢ Pre-order Special Offer





A starry night, a whispered prayer and a heartfelt wish, lead to a Christmas romance neither of them saw coming.

The challenge between the Allender siblings begins, and McKenna is determined to sell more Christmas trees than her older brother. The dare is enough incentive, but the bonus makes it all worthwhile especially when she wrecks her car trying to avoid hitting a man who steps out of nowhere into her path.

Leon Jovino is on a sure path until it divides his heart in two. A starry night, a heartfelt wish, and his head in a fog lead him into a collision with Kenna. He’s determined to help her but doesn’t count on the consequences.

Then again, his starry wish just might be behind it all.




The Sleuth's Conundrum
Kimberly Rose Johnson


Adam and Tara are sucked into a police investigation that might get Tara killed. Can Adam keep her safe or will he lose her forever?
Tara James, the local librarian assistant, is afraid her past will catch up to her when an infant is abandoned outside the Tipton County Library. Will news of the abandoned baby stir up publicity and force her to go on the run again?
Librarian Nancy Daley’s world has become complicated. Carter is pushing to set a wedding date, a woman was left for dead on the side of the road, and Tara, her assistant, is acting strange. Nancy is working every angle she can think of, but the case goes from bad to bizarre. Can she find the baby’s mother, help Tara, and plan her wedding without upsetting her life’s delicate balance?
Slow news days become a thing of the past for local reporter Adam Stacy when a dead body is discovered on the side of the road. Was the woman murdered or was it an accident? Adam’s feelings are growing for Tara, but she appears to have secrets she’s hiding. Is she somehow connected to the abandoned infant?
When things go from bad to worse Adam does everything in his power to protect Tara, but will it be enough?

Available on Amazon


Sunday, November 17, 2019

Bargain Books by Josie Riviera and Lyn Cote and Alicia Street

It's a Kindle Countdown Sale for my sweet holiday romance!
Candleglow and Mistletoe is only 99¢ for a limited time.
 Noelle Wentworth doesn’t mind getting away from St. Augustine to fill in at her ailing aunt’s candle shop.

A few weeks in Snowing Rock will help her get past the humiliating memory lapse that ruined an important piano concert—and, ultimately, her marriage to her overbearing duet partner.

She’s mentally rehearsing for her comeback performance when the bus she’s riding in slides off an icy mountain road.
And one deep, calming voice emerges from the confusion to slow her racing heart—right before his ruggedly handsome face kicks it back into allegro.

Gabe Waters is usually prepared for anything—as a professional stuntman, his life depends on it—but nothing prepared him for Noelle, the unattainable high school crush whose bravery saved him from more than just a bully’s flying fist. There’s no hint she recognizes him, but Gabe knows that face, those eyes…and he sees something that wasn’t there before. Distrust and apprehension.

Their unexpected attraction kindles something as warm and sweet as a holiday candle.
But the weight of their pasts could turn the promise of love to ashes.

Grab your copy today!
           ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Lyn Cote here~I have two book bargains. First my Christmas novella, Loving Winter.


99 cents throught November 23rd!
Happily single, Winter Woodard is looking forward to a busy, holiday season. But...

And it all begins with her cousin’s wedding where Winter meets the man the ladies around town have been buzzing about. Single by choice, Clay Dixon, the very successful football coach at the local high school, has rebuffed all offers of “home-cooked meals,” keeping the female population at bay. That’s fine with Winter. She’s her own woman, thank you very much. 
Then bad things begin to happen. And unexpectedly Clay Dixon stands by her through a holiday season fraught with unnerving and destructive setbacks.
Is someone out to ruin Woodard Greenery’s, all she has left of her beloved grandfather and mother?
Welcome to Steadfast, a small town whose people and mysteries you may never forget~



For more info about this book and my free ebook Winter's Secret  (and to sample other authors of sweet romance), click here. And HAPPY HOLIDAY READING!

                   ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Alicia Street here - and I have one bargain book and one FREE book.

                                              The Christmas Honeymoon is 99¢
Quiet librarian Serena always loved Christmas, until she was jilted before her December wedding. A year later, while trying to rekindle her tarnished holiday spirit, she meets Damien, handsome daredevil—and a total Scrooge. Their unlikely mutual attraction brings on a challenge that leads to one very romantic Christmas.



Megan lived for her career, but a turn of events challenges her driven nature and she decides what she really needs is a man who is a sweetheart. Can Mac, a workaholic billionaire she is dating, prove he can pass the sweetheart test?










Saturday, November 16, 2019

Life Isn't a Sprint it's a Journey by Kimberly Rose Johnson


The mantra of my life for several years now has been finding balance. I was stressed and too focused on writing. My health suffered as a result and so did my social life.

I've been trying to slow down a bit with my writing for two years. As I look back, I see that I truly succeeded in 2019. I only wrote three books and one screenplay. I realize this may sound counter intuitive to an entrepreneur, but it was necessary for me to find balance in my life.

Even though I only wrote three manuscripts and a screenplay, it has still proven to be a struggle to find balance because I've had multiple collections of older books compiled by my publisher which require marketing, and then I decided it was a good idea to do it with my indie books too. On top of that I dusted off an old manuscript and did a huge rewrite and published it as well. So in spite of writing fewer books, I've stayed busy, but not so busy I made myself sick, like I've done in the past.

Lately, on Fridays I've given myself permission to only do the minimum that is necessary to keep moving forward in order to enjoy time with friends or family. It's been delightful!

I hope as you finish 2019 you will take time to enjoy it doing the things you love.

The Sleuth's Conundrum was the only full length book I wrote in 2019, and it released this month. It's the third book in my Librarian Sleuth series. I'm currently writing the next book.

Here's the back cover description for The Sleuth's Conundrum.


Adam and Tara are sucked into a police investigation that might get Tara killed. Can Adam keep her safe or will he lose her forever?
Tara James, the local librarian assistant, is afraid her past will catch up to her when an infant is abandoned outside the Tipton County Library. Will news of the abandoned baby stir up publicity and force her to go on the run again?
Librarian Nancy Daley’s world has become complicated. Carter is pushing to set a wedding date, a woman was left for dead on the side of the road, and Tara, her assistant, is acting strange. Nancy is working every angle she can think of, but the case goes from bad to bizarre. Can she find the baby’s mother, help Tara, and plan her wedding without upsetting her life’s delicate balance?
Slow news days become a thing of the past for local reporter Adam Stacy when a dead body is discovered on the side of the road. Was the woman murdered or was it an accident? Adam’s feelings are growing for Tara, but she appears to have secrets she’s hiding. Is she somehow connected to the abandoned infant?
When things go from bad to worse Adam does everything in his power to protect Tara, but will it be enough?

Available at Amazon 

Friday, November 15, 2019

Do you ever go Novembering? by Alicia Street

I do. Novembering is what I call indulging in the deep nostalgia that takes over my brain in November. To me, it is a month for remembering. The summer is truly gone, and with Thanksgiving approaching and the Christmas holidays right around the corner, I can’t help but go back to thoughts of years past.

                                               Photo by Niklas Hamann on Unsplash
I love to take walks in the crisp autumn air and remember all the things I’m grateful to have lived and experienced. All the people who’ve touched my life and the things I’ve been lucky enough to do. A few years back, my mom passed away just before Thanksgiving, so memories of her warmth always fill me when I see the leaves turning red and gold. And I can’t seem to stop myself from collecting the prettiest autumn leaves and pressing them into the pages of a book—a yearly ritual my mom and I began when I was seven years old.  

Novembering is also that special feeling of returning to familiar rituals—like making cranberry sauce from fresh berries or sticking cloves in oranges to make pomanders or finding my grandmother’s big serving platter for the turkey—the kinds of things that bring up precious memories of days shared with family and friends year after year. By the time I get through the month of November and Thanksgiving arrives, I’ve catalogued a whole life’s worth of thankfulness.
Do you ever go Novembering?

As a thanks to readers I am offering The Sweetheart Test free through November19.



Alicia Street is a USA Today bestselling author and a Daphne du Maurier award-winner. She spent many years as a dancer, choreographer and teacher and is a compulsive reader of every genre. Alicia sometimes writes in collaboration with her husband, Roy, and is grateful to have the kind of marriage that proves romance novel love really exists.
Alicia loves to connect with readers~
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