Sunday, December 15, 2019

Collecting Christmas by Alicia Street

One of the things I love about the Christmas season is opening up boxes of figurines I have collected over many years. Some belonged to my mother and I still remember my excitement as a child taking them out and finding just the right place to put them as we decorated the house for the holiday.

One of my treasures is a music box Santa that my mother-in-law gave me when we first met, another is a glittery ceramic snowman that my sister made when we were in grade school. I have a vintage angel that belonged to my grandmother. And miniature carolers that remind me of a trip I took with my husband.

Seeing each figurine year after year is like running into an old friend, each one bringing back precious memories of Christmases past that make the holiday burn bright in my heart.

Do you have a collection of treasures that you return to each year?

Today is the last day that my short and sweet romance
  O Christmas Tree is FREE!

Every sweet romance in my Holiday Luv series is 99¢


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~

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Montana Memories by Merrillee Whren

     From the time I was four until I turned ten, my family lived in Billings, Montana. I remember walking over a mile to school when it was really cold, bundled up in coats, gloves, hats, snow pants, and boots. Blizzards, tall snowdrifts, sledding, building snowmen, and ice skating were a normal part of winter.
     When I started writing books, I decided I would set at least one book in every place I've ever lived. When I set out to write the adult stories of three teenagers who were secondary characters in some of my early Love Inspired books, I decided to set one of those books in Montana. Brittany's story became Montana Match. I relied on my memories of living in Montana. Although I didn't live on a ranch, we had a mini-ranch just down the street from us. Our neighbor raised cows, horses, and goats. We got fresh milk from the lady who lived at the end of our lane. 
     I put my hero on an isolated ranch, but he referred to himself as a gentleman rancher. He lives there, but he has hired hands who do the actual ranching. My hero has adopted twin daughters. One of my best friends in fourth grade was named Rose. She had Crow Indian ancestry, and I used her as a model for my twins. I even named one of them Rose.
     The other books in the series were never purchased by Love Inspired, so I decided to publish them myself, and the Front Porch Promises series was born. The series expanded beyond those three teenagers and their adults stories, and for the longest time, A Place to Call Home was Book #1 in the Front Porch Promises series. However, Montana Match was always intended to be the first book. Recently the rights to Montana Match reverted back to me, so I gave it a new title to go along with the other books in the series. It is now titled A Match to Call Ours, and it has a new cover. 

You can preorder it now for 99 cents. Get the buy links by clicking or tapping here.

What are some of your childhood memories?

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, December 12, 2019

Small-Town Christmas Wishes by Cindy Flores Martinez

Christmas is less than two weeks away! Have you read the Small-Town Christmas Wishes series?

Six Sweet Romance Reads authors—including me—joined together to write 6 Inspirational Romances.

Each of our books tells the story of a secret angel who takes on the challenge of making a wish come true for someone else in time for Christmas.

The stories are set in Snowflake, Colorado, a lovely, fictional small town that captures the spirit of Christmas. You’ll love spending time there.

The series is FREE on Kindle Unlimited.

MIA’S GIFT by Cindy Flores Martinez
CARO’S GIFT by Jean C. Gordon
NATE’S GIFT by Jackie Castle
SARA’S GIFT by Kimberly Rose Johnson
HOLLY’S GIFT by Josie Riviera
TAYE’S GIFT by Pat Simmons

Cindy Flores Martinez is a USA Today bestselling author who 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

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Favorite Holiday Board Games by Josie Riviera

One of my favorite holiday activities is getting together with family and friends and playing board games. Board game night is an inexpensive way to fill many evenings not only at Christmas, but throughout the year.

Board games are for all ages, and make you laugh and chat, think and strategize, and develop patience--especially when someone snaps up Park Place and Boardwalk. (Those of you who play Monopoly will understand.)

My family usually purchases a new game every Christmas, and then we set aside New Year's Eve to play the game together.

However, we oftentimes revert to our old favorites--mine being Monopoly, and our children and grandchildren choosing the game, Sorry.

Do you have any board game favorites? Please list in the comments below.

 Love a sweet emotional story and Kindle Countdown?

Snag my holiday romance, A Snowy White Christmas, only 99¢ for a limited time.

Speaking of New Year's, pre-order my newest sweet holiday romance, A Chocolate-Box New Years.

If you love Film Noir and pasta making and Italian food and star-gazing, (and chocolate, of course!) this book is for you. Order today on Amazon, and the full-length novella will be delivered to your inbox on New Year's Eve.

My sincere good wishes to all our readers for a beautiful, peaceful, and blessed Christmas season.
Happy Holidays!

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.

To see her latest family adventures, follow her on Instagram.
And remember to join our Sweet Romance Reads Facebook cafe.


Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Christmas Books from Sweet Romance Read Authors #sweetromance

Deadly Night, Silent Night
By Margaret Daley
Revenge. Sabotage. Second Chances. 
Widow Rebecca Howard runs a successful store chain that is being targeted during the holiday season. Detective Alex Kincaid, best friends with Rebecca’s twin brother, is investigating the hacking of the store’s computer system. When the attacks become personal, Alex must find the assailant before Rebecca, the woman he’s falling in love with, is murdered.
Buy links: AmazonBarnes and NobleAppleKobo and Google Play


On sale Dec 10 to 21st 99 cents~

Happily single, Winter Woodard, owner of her grandfather’s floral nursery, is looking forward to a busy, fun fall and holiday season.  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.  
Then bad things begin to happen. And unexpectedly Clay Dixon stands by Winter through a holiday season fraught with unnerving and destructive setbacks. Welcome to Steadfast, a small town whose people and mysteries you may never forget~ more info or to buy, click here.


                           On sale Dec 10 - Dec 31 for 99¢  ~ AmazonUniversal 

                     Four sweet contemporary romance Christmas novellas 
What readers have said: 
“Warmed my heart and had me believing in the magic of Christmas again!”
“One of the best Christmas books I’ve read in a long time if not forever.”

 “…has what it takes to find a place on my yearly holiday reading list.”

                                         “Made my heart smile.”


Marked Down to $1.99 Dec 10 through 31 (Save $2!)

Three Heartwarming Holiday Stories in One

Holiday Escape
Bridget O’Brien lost her fiancé to a dangerous job. And, while she’d love to have a relationship like the one she lost, the last thing she wants is one with another man who willingly puts his life in danger. Luke Foster is a motocross racer whose track record with women runs short and no-strings-attached on both sides. He’d never seriously pursue a forever-after woman like Bridget. All they want is a holiday week away. Bridget from her well-meaning family’s condolences about her planned Christmas Eve wedding and her memories of a future that won’t be. Luke from his family’s annual critique at which he and his life choices always fall short of expectations. But, under the blue Caribbean skies, anything can happen.

Team Macachek Christmas
Sparks fly from a Christmastime reunion of motocross racer Jesse Brewster and his ex-girlfriend Lauren Cooper. Being thrown together to plan the race team's Christmas party reignites a flame Lauren thought she'd extinguished when she broke up with Jesse six months earlier. But will Jesse's well-meaning secret Christmas gift—meant to help win her back—compromise the independence Lauren is fighting to establish? Is it, as she maintains, the wrong time for their love?

Christmas Pizza to the Rescue
Jilted at the alter two weeks ago, motocross champion Royce Evans plans to make an appearance at the Team Macachek Christmas party to show the guys he’s just fine. Then he’ll hunker down alone at the team barracks for the rest of the holiday season. Out-of-work investigative reporter turned pizza delivery person Samantha Linder needs money for her younger sister’s special school tuition and needs to re-establish her cred as a reporter. When a freak winter rain storm strands them alone at the barracks, they strike a bargain that benefits them both. But after Sam appears to break that bargain, can even the spirit of Christmas save their blossoming love?

BUY: Amazon ~ Apple Books, B&N, or Kobo


A heartwarming Christmas novella
on sale for 99¢. Free on Kindle Unlimited.

As a Union sniper, killing has become easy for Captain Christmas “Chris” Haley. After four long years of fighting against his own countrymen, the once naïve farm boy is now a war hardened soldier whose faith in God is shaken. Chris is ready to set aside his rifle and return to his Kansas farm. But will his family accept the man he’s become—angry and unsure if he still believes in God?

Chris struggles with being home. His mother's pretty caregiver catches his eye and begins to give him a reason to go on each day. In spite of his bitterness, his heart is softening. But what happens when he learns the secret Hannah is keeping?

Monday, December 9, 2019

Snow Days... by Christine Bush

I live in the northeast section of the USA, in Pennsylvania.  We’re blessed with the variety of four seasons, equally divided.  Spring is delicious, full of flowers and lushness.  Summer is sunny and hot and lazy, with crops in the field, and sunscreen on our noses.  Fall is an explosion of color as the leaves turn, and the air turns crisp.

And then there’s winter.

I loved winter as a kid. I loved to sled and ski and ice skate.

 I was a master snow man engineer. The cold was refreshing, and hiking around on snow and ice didn’t bother me a bit.

This has changed. 

Remember Tim Conway as the old man on the Carol Burnett show? I walk like that in the snow now, chanting “Don’t fall. Don’t fall.” Not exactly attractive. My greatest motive is to stay right side up!

And I can really “feel” the cold, so I don’t enjoy being out in it for extended periods of time in the winter anymore.

Snow is pretty.  White fields, and tree branches sparkling with ice in the sunshine are beautiful.  But since it also falls on the roads and walkways, today I can do without it.

Except for snow days. I still love snow days, when it snows enough to close things down and make everyone stay at home.

When I was a kid, that meant “No School”, and planning to build the next great snow man.  It also meant sleeping in, making hot chocolate, and usually a sledding adventure on a nearby hill with friends.

Today, hot chocolate is still on the agenda.  Sledding has been crossed off the list.  

Now I love to settle in for a concentrated day of writing, which is a rare commodity in my normally busy life. 

That’s a joy.  I also make long overdue phone calls to dear friends, read, catch up on my email and card writing. I listen to soothing music and pet the cats. It’s a time of emotional refreshment.

How about you? What do you do on a “snow day”, or any unexpected day off?

I'd love to hear!

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!

Christine’s Anthology of four sweet Christmas novellas is available now for $2.99!

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Christmas in Shellwater Kristin Wallace

For December I have a surprise! I'm putting out a holiday box set with my 3 Shellwater Key Christmas novellas. I’m excited to revisit these fun & touching novellas set in the Florida beach town of Shellwater Key. The main stories in the series center around 3 friends who revive the old Paradise Dinner Theatre. These holiday novellas venture beyond the theatre.

Here’s a little preview….

Finding You At Christmas

She’s going to find her destiny this Christmas…

After years of looking out for everyone else, preacher’s daughter Janie Worthy is ready to get a life of her own. But on the way to her first date, her car decides to quit, and a stranger on a motorcycle becomes her savior. The short time she spends with Caleb Montgomery on the side of the road might
be the most romantic interlude Janie can remember. Of course, it’s all a fantasy, and soon Caleb is riding off into the night.

Until he shows up again in her hometown of Shellwater Key. When Caleb decides to stay in town for Christmas, Janie can’t help but wonder if she is the reason. Except people don’t fall in love in one night…Right? As the holidays kick into high gear, Janie must find the courage to move beyond past guilt to embrace the future and open the best Christmas present she could ever find.

Falling For You At Christmas

A nativity story for the modern day…

Pregnant and alone at Christmas, Cassie Stevens decides to take a holiday vacation in Shellwater Key before her baby girl is born. Then she discovers her reservation is lost and there is literally no room left at the inn. Thankfully, single inkeeper, Jared Lathem, offers to let Cassie stay with him and his young daughter. She won't have to sleep in a manger, but being in close poximity to the gorgeous Jared might be dangerous t her piece of mind...and heart.

But the magic of the season can change everything. Cassie is suddenly surrounded by a group of friends, who all seem have names relating to another important birth long ago. And when Christmas Eve brings an unexpected delivery, Cassie will discover that miracles are still possible even in modern times. 

Loving You At Christmas

This Christmas will become the opening act for her holiday happily ever after…

Annaliese Matheson once had the perfect life, with a successful career on Broadway and a loving husband who was her greatest champion. Then her husband died. Devastated, she left the stage behind and only returned when her best friend, Grayson Kendall, asked her to perform at The Paradise Dinner Theatre in tiny Shellwater Key, Florida.

Annaliese is convinced she’ll never love again, but when she steps in to direct to Middle School Christmas Show, nothing will ever be the same. A man unlike any she’s known awakens her buried heart, giving her a second chance at forever with the last person she would have expected. It will take a miracle for Annaliese to let someone else in and embrace happiness again...but then it is Christmas.

The box set will be up this week so be on the lookout for it!

Kristin Wallace is the USA Today Best Selling Author of inspirational and sweet contemporary romance filled with “Love, Laughter and a Leap of Faith”. The Christmas in Shellwater Key boxes et will release this winter. 

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Hero Material and a Cover Reveal

What qualities say romance-hero material? I'm sure you're not surprised to learn that I have numerous hero qualities I think are attractive. If I didn't, all my books would be the same story.

Appearance carries some weight. Who can guess what Outlander actor/character I used as my looks inspiration for my auburn-haired hero in my upcoming January No Brides Club book, No Time for Detours? 😀 But actions and beliefs are much more indicative of a true hero than looks.

One action, based on a real situation, that shouted HERO to me in capital letters, was that taken by a young man we know. When his girlfriend, who had custody of her sister's pre-school-age twins, broke up with him, she left the twins with him. He whole heartedly accepted responsibility for the children even though they were in no way his legal responsibility. He loved them and was the only father figure they'd known. That's a heroic action my my eyes. The man became my model for Nick in No Time for Detours.

Do you have a swoon-worthy action that shouts HERO to you?

Now for that Cover Reveal

Don't you love it? I do. Isn't the wedding gown gorgeous? And the cover picks up the gold color used in the cover of my first No Brides Club book No Time for Apologies.

For My New Releases
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Twitter: @JeanCGordon

Friday, December 6, 2019

Bargain Books by Lyn Cote

First time on sale for 99 cents! ENDS DEC. 10TH!
What could unite a disgruntled DA and the pretty teacher, responsible for his hung jury? 
Perhaps a little boy in need of love 

Young and eager, Patience begins her first year of teaching. One first grader, Jackson, sparks her concern. Can she help him start off his school years on the right foot? A stint of jury duty takes her away from Jackson, and into conflict with Jackson’s dad, by-the-book DA Gil Montgomery. Her “not guilty” vote means he’ll have to try the case again. And she’s upset that her absence had badly affected Jackson, now branded the “class troublemaker,” just what she was trying to prevent.

Gil and his ex-wife’s conflicting parenting styles continue to jeopardize Jackson’s emotional well-being. As irritated as Gil is with Patience, he soon realizes she is the key to helping his son. Patience is willing to help. But is Gil willing to “hear” her as she uncovers evidence for the re-trial that could change his mind about who assaulted Bertha Perkins and stole her valuable antiques?

For more info, click here.
Don't forget to share this with your friends as we start this special season!

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Little surprises...and a free book drawing ....Roxanne Rustand

This past week has been one of little surprises:  one a relief, one an unexpected blessing, and one that just made me laugh.

First of all...the one that filled me with relief.  BOTH of my computers--an iMac desktop and a Macbook Pro--are 2012 and in computer-years are quite elderly, and both were acting progressively worse. And quickly, to the point of being unusable. Just trying to select a file in Documents or in Desktop set off the dreaded Spinning Beachball of Doom...a cheery, colorful sphere on the screen that means the computer is locked up. So there I would sit for ten, fifteen seconds. Which is a surprisingly long time when one is waiting, waiting, waiting--and repeatedly, too.

I was envisioning needing replacements. Costly replacements. Or both of them spending weeks away at some Apple repair center. Then my husband asked why I hadn't called Apple for tech support. I figured they were too far out of warranty, but then gave it a shot. Voila!  No malware, no viruses (which I understand Macs very rarely get anyway, even without anti-virus software.) No major problems.  When the tech asked which operating system I was using he fell silent..then actually laughed, saying he didn't ever see that version anymore, but updating would be a wise idea and would clean up the glitches.  And it did!!  I was so relieved--dancing on the rooftops happy--to not be facing the cost of new computers! 

Now for the unexpected blessing that I would like to share with two drawing winners from those who leave a comment. Out of the blue, two big boxes from my publisher arrived on our doorstep a few days ago. I had no idea that Falling for the Rancher, the first book of my Rocky Mountain Ranch trilogy, was going to be republished.  I'm delighted!  

The second in the series, High Country Homecoming, was out last summer, and the final book, Snowbound with the Cowboy, is a January release (which means it will be available later this month.)

Finally, something unexpected that made me laugh---before chasing Marmalade off the deck.  :)

I glanced out the window surprised that there wasn't the usual bird convention feasting at the birdfeeders...then looked a bit closer and found him at the heated waterer. Perhaps planning on a nice dessert of birds, after his catfood down in the barn? Not on my watch! :)

I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving!  Did you have a nice meal?  This year I tried to add a number if very low carb options for me, and a few other family members who are following a Keto (low carb diet.)  A few of the items were great--like the yummy pecan bars in lieu of pecan pie--and a few were...well, unique, at best.  LOL!

Wishing you a wonderful, blessed Christmas!
Roxanne Rustand

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Traveling ~ Recycle, Renew, Reuse by Donna Fasano @DonnaFaz

Years ago, I traveled to the south of France with my husband. We visited Antibes, Nice, Menton, La Grande-Motte, Montpellier, and other lovely little towns along the Mediterranean Sea. I have visited several towns and cities in Italy, and I’ve also visited the UK and Brussels, Belgium. One of the things that struck me on these travels was that everyone brought their own reusable shopping bags when they went to buy groceries. I wondered why we didn’t do that in the US. So when I returned home from that very first trip, I started taking reusable bags with me to the grocery store. Back then, cashiers didn’t like it when customers brought their own bags to the store because it slowed them down. I can’t tell you how many annoyed looks I received back then. But I’m happy to say, this attitude is changing!
Sandia Mountains, New Mexico

I visited Albuquerque, New Mexico last month. (I rode an aerial tram to the top of the Sandia Mountains. What a stunningly beautiful place! Please see the picture to the right.) I learned that the stores in Albuquerque charge 10¢ for each bag that is provided by the grocery story. I was very pleased that businesses in the south west are strongly encouraging customers to bring in their own bags. I am hoping businesses all over the country will soon do the same.

Did you know that there are some reusable bags that are made of recycled soda bottles? I love these bags I found on Amazon. You can even find light-weight reusable produce bags. How do you feel about recycling, renewing, reusing? Would you consider bringing your own reusable bags when you go shopping?

~  ~  ~    

Christmas is coming! To celebrate, I’ve put all three of my Christmas books on sale for 99¢ each. These heartwarming stories are sure to fill you with the spirit of Christmas. The Kindle prices are good worldwide and the links below should take you to your area Kindle Store. Happy Holidays!

As an Amazon affiliate, Donna Fasano earns from qualifying 
purchases. This blog may contain paid links.  

Monday, December 2, 2019

Book Titles - Do They Affect Your Choice When Buying? by Vickie McDonough

Vickie McDonough here wishing everyone a merry Christmas!

Wow, it's hard to believe the Christmas season has arrived. I'm happy to admit I'm almost done with my Christmas shopping. I like to do it early while the weather is warmer and the crowds aren't as big. Finishing my shopping early also allows me to focus on the true meaning of Christmas during December. 

Jesus is the reason for the season!

Let's talk books. How many of you have a bunch of books on your Christmas wish list? I sure do. We all know that a good cover snags a reader's attention as does a good-looking guy or gal on the cover, but how much does the title affect your decision to purchase a book?

Did you know that some publishing houses choose the titles for books, just like they do the cover designs? They may or may ask the author's input. I've been blessed to write for publishers that for the most part did not change my titles. When I name a book early on, that title becomes as important to me as the characters.

Here's a fun Christmas collection called Christmas Next Door, which I did with my good friend Susan Page Davis (she choose the name for this collection):

Visit an Old West Texas town where a mysterious benefactor leaves gifts each Christmas, but also where four pairs of neighbors battle over hearsay, secrets, and mysteries.

I think the most unique title I've ever thought up was The Anonymous Bride, which is a title I chose. My hope was that it would intrigue readers. 

Three mail-order brides arrive in a small Texas town, expecting to marry the marshal, but he didn't order a bride. When a contest ensues to determine which woman will make him the best wife, there are four entries instead of three--the fourth an anonymous entry.

So what do you think? How much do titles influence you to buy a book? Have you actually bought a book because of the title?

I hope y'all have a wonderful Christmas!

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Special Christmas Blessing by Lyn Cote

My husband  and I moved to the northwoods of WI in the early 2000’s. On the first Christmas morning I witnessed something called sublimation. Not psychologically but in chemistry. Here’s what I mean. I was standing at the kitchen window and looked out and I saw what looked like snow but special snow I’d never seen before. And the sun was shining brightly--not a cloud in the clear blue sky. Where could snow come from without clouds?  And it was the most beautiful snow I’d ever seen--like cascades of crushed diamonds--veils of them coming down in shimmering waves. I was transfixed. And when the blessing finally ended, the snowy ground glittered like a field of diamonds. I was uplifted, filled with joy. And this happened again on another Christmas morning. Twice--I was amazed.
My husband explained sublimation. Here’s the dictionary definition.
Chemistry.--to convert (a solid substance) by heat into a vapor, which on cooling condenses again to solid form, without apparent liquefaction.
He explained to me that the vapor was being translated into solid form--snow--without becoming liquid first.
Since it happened twice and both times on Christmas morning, i take it as a special gift from God--for all of us who witnessed it. Have you ever experienced a special blessing like this at Christmas? It doesn’t have to be from nature but from another person. Please share here. I will love hearing your special blessings. 

BTW, I have a book--usually 3.99, now on sale for 0.99 and just a limited time. Here's the scoop:

What could unite a disgruntled DA and the pretty teacher, responsible for his hung jury? 
Perhaps a little boy in need of love 

Young and eager, Patience begins her first year of teaching. One first grader, Jackson, sparks her concern. Can she help him start off his school years on the right foot?. A stint of jury duty takes her away from Jackson, and into conflict with Jackson’s dad, by-the-book DA Gil Montgomery. Her “not guilty” vote means he’ll have to try the case again. And she’s upset that her absence had badly affected Jackson, now branded the “class troublemaker,” just what she was trying to prevent.

Gil and his ex-wife’s conflicting parenting styles continue to jeopardize Jackson’s emotional well-being. As irritated as Gil is with Patience, he soon realizes she is the key to helping his son. Patience is willing to help. But is Gil willing to “hear” her as she uncovers evidence for the re-trial that could change his mind about who assaulted Bertha Perkins and stole her valuable antiques?

For more info, click here.
Don't forget to share your Christmas blessing as we start this special season!